The meetings of world leaders at the General Assembly (GA) over the past week have made progress on major issues including climate change, nuclear disarmament and the global financial crisis with the United Nations playing a pivotal role, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said here Tuesday.
"It is still early days, of course, but this has been one of the most engaged GA sessions in years," he told a news conference at the UN Headquarters in New York, summing up the opening of the annual debate of the 64th General Assembly session and the meetings that took place on the sidelines.
"There is a broad recognition of the UN's pivotal role in rising to the exceptional challenges of the coming year," he said.
He said the summit meeting he convened on the climate crisis last Tuesday with 101 heads of state and government present laid a "solid foundation" toward December's Copenhagen meeting, where leaders will seek a new treaty to control emissions of greenhouse gases.
"All leaders said they wanted a deal and are prepared to work for it. This gives the negotiations vital political impetus," he said, citing the leaders' confirmation of the need to limit the global average temperature rise to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius with most vulnerable countries pushing for an even more stringent 1.5-degree limit.
He also noted that on the mitigation front, Japan announced a "bold goal" of 25 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020 and China said it would be prepared to take additional actions to reduce energy intensity in the context of an international agreement.
On adaptation, he noted that the European Union (EU) announced support for a fast track funding facility for adaptation and their readiness to provide 5 billion euros (about 7.276 billion U.S. dollars) to 7 billion euros to get it started.