New York – Every September, the world’s leaders gather at the United Nations to reaffirm our founding Charter – our faith in fundamental principles of peace, justice, human rights, and equal opportunity for all. We assess the state of the world, engage key issues of the day, and lay out our vision for the way ahead.
But this year is different. The 64th opening of the General Assembly asks us to rise to an exceptional moment. We are facing many crises – food, energy, recession, and pandemic flu – occurring all at once. If ever there were a time to act in a spirit of renewed multilateralism, a time to put the “united” back into the United Nations, it is now.
And that is what we are doing, as action on three issues of historic consequence demonstrates.
First, world leaders are uniting to address the greatest challenge we face as a human family – the threat of catastrophic climate change. Last week, 101 leaders from 163 countries met to chart the next steps toward December’s all-important UN climate change conference in Copenhagen. They recognized the need for an agreement that all nations can embrace – in line with their capabilities, consistent with what science requires, and grounded in “green jobs” and “green growth,” the lifeline of a twenty-first century global economy.