UN Secretary-General visits WMO

UN Secretary-General visits WMO

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Published

20 January 2016

WMO welcomed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to its headquarters on 19 January for a meeting with WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, who took up office at the start of the year. Mr Ban, accompanied by senior UN officials, also met WMO President David Grimes and senior management.  

Mr Taalas thanked the UN Secretary-General for his essential contribution to the success of the UN Climate Change conference, COP-21, in Paris.

In addition to climate change mitigation efforts, there is a great need to pay attention to adaptation because the negative climate trend is expected to continue for at least the coming five decades, said Mr Taalas. This means a growing number of weather-related disasters and a continuing increase in sea level rise.

A very effective way to adapt is through improved  early warning services, said Mr Taalas, underlining the need for further investments to National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the majority of WMO Members.

He emphasized that there is also a need to strengthen the global greenhouse gas monitoring system, especially for carbon dioxide, to be able to monitor emission reductions in reality.

Mr Taalas expressed WMO's continuing commitment to providing expertise on weather and climate for the UN system, and this was welcomed by Mr Ban.

In 2015 major global agreements have been reached on disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and climate change. WMO will be a key player in implementation of all these agreements, said Mr Ban. The majority of disasters are weather and hydrology related. Within the context of sustainable development, there a need to provide new services for the solar, wind and hydro energy sectors, he said.

Mr Ban paid tribute to former WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud's contribution to the UN, and especially his leadership in UN Water and said he looked forward to an even greater role for WMO in future.

Photos available here

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