United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Ban Ki-moon appoints two new special envoys on climate change


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed two new Special Envoys on climate change, an issue he has made one of his top priorities.

Former Botswanan president Festus Mogae and former Macedonian foreign minister Srgjan Kerim, who has just stepped down as president of the UN General Assembly, join two other special envoys for climate change appointed last year: former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos and Norwegian ex-prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.

Their role will be to support the Secretary-General in his consultations with heads of state and governments as well as other key stakeholders, in order to facilitate progress in the ongoing multilateral talks on climate change.

The next round of negotiations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) takes place in the Polish city of Poznan in December, in the run-up to the key climate change talks in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Mr. Ban says he hopes the envoys will be able to promote positive steps towards reaching an 'ambitious, comprehensive, inclusive and ratifiable' pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, whose first commitment period ends in 2012.

Festus Mogae, who was president of Botswana from 1998 until earlier this year, has extensive experience in economics and development planning, having also served as his country's Minister of Finance and Development Planning and in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

As President of the General Assembly's 62nd session, which ended on Monday, Srgjan Kerim chaired three thematic debates on climate change. Mr Kerim also served as the foreign minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

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