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Politics & press news in brief – Embassy 9 – Jun 2008

Ban urges action to combat threats

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for more urgency in tackling threats that can destabilise the world.

In a speech hosted by the United Nations Association, the Secretary General outlined four major threats facing the world – climate change, disease, international terrorism and weapons proliferation -– from which no nation was immune.

Mr Ban said climate change was the defining challenge of our age and urged all nations to agree on a global agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol in December 2010. “Whatever the cost of taking action the cost of not taking action is far greater,” he told the audience of diplomats.

On world health, Mr Ban said diseases were spreading quickly across borders, reinforcing the need for coordinated action. “Too many lives hang in the balance for us to wait,” he said.

On countering terrorism, the Secretary General called for global cooperation on countering terrorism and encouraged member states to target the conditions that breed terrorism as outlined in the UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

He also urged states to meet the challenge of disarmament and non-proliferation and called for the elimination of all WMD and the limitation of other types of weapons to legitimate defensive purposes.

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