NEW YORK, 18th February, 2016 (WAM) — While the international community has provided a solid foundation for the world’s response to climate change by adopting the Paris Agreement last December, United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said today that it is now necessary to build on that momentum in order to secure a safer and healthier future for all.

At a briefing at UN Headquarters in New York on the high-level signature ceremony for the Paris Agreement, which he will host on 22nd April, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the ceremony will provide the first opportunity for governments to advance the process that will lead to the agreement’s implementation and ratification.

“Now we must move from aspirations to action,” Mr. Ban said. “By implementing the Paris Agreement, we will be building the future we want – a future of shared opportunity that leaves no-one behind on a planet that is protected and nurtured for the benefit of all,” he added.

Urging the participation of all Governments at the signing ceremony, the UN chief emphasised the importance of the Agreement entering into force as soon as possible.

Mr. Ban noted that leaders from Peru, France and Morocco, the Presidents of recent UN climate change meetings, known as COP20, COP21 and the upcoming COP22, have agreed to attend the signature ceremony, and that many other world leaders have promised their attendance as well.

“We need all hands on deck to meet the climate challenge,” Mr. Ban stressed. “Cities, schools, the business and investment communities, faith groups, all have a role to play.”