We are the last generation that can fight climate change. We have a duty to act | Ban Ki-moon

After a year of global turmoil, the UN and international community must work harder than ever for a sustainable future

Bangladeshi children playing on the bank of the dried up river Kaliganga. ‘We must aim to keep the rise in global temperatures below the dangerous threshold of 2C.’ Photograph: Zakir Hossain Chowdhury/Zuma Press/Corbis

Monday 12 January 2015 03.00 EST

This year the UN marks its 70th anniversary. Sadly, there is little time for reflection or celebration. More pressing are the competing demands and challenges fuelled by an upsurge in conflict, disease and human suffering. These compel the international community to step up and provide the leadership needed to tackle them.

Ebola continues to plague west Africa. For some of the affected countries, struggling to overcome the effects of bitter civil war, the outbreak has been a major setback for development. We are beginning to see some improvements. During my visit to the region in December, I was deeply moved by the efforts of local Ebola responders and health workers from across Africa and the world. But rebuilding shattered lives and economies will require significantly more resources and long-term commitment.

As conflicts raged and extremism rose, 2014 pushed the UN’s humanitarian, peacekeeping and diplomatic efforts to the limit. More than 100 million people needed assistance. An unprecedented number of UN troops and police are deployed in highly volatile security environments.

The elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons programme was a major achievement, but the conflict continues to inflict immense suffering and will soon enter its fifth year. As bitter winter conditions set in, millions of refugees are in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance. The presence of thousands of foreign terrorist fighters there and in Iraq has added a further volatile dimension.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

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