Wednesday, 20 January 2021

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Paris Agreement: UN Calls on Civil Society to Hold Leaders Accountable

Paris DiCaprio

25.01.2016 - The UN Secretary-General has called on all civil society and youth to hold their leaders accountable for promises made in the Paris agreement.

As 175 world leaders signed the Paris Agreement at United Nations Headquarters on 22 April, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the next critical step is to ensure that the landmark accord for global action on climate change enters into force as soon as possible.

"I encourage all countries to raise their level of ambition," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

"I urge world leaders to continue to provide direct political oversight and guidance. And I will look to civil society and the world’s young people to hold Governments to account for the promises they made today," he added

Also addressing the ceremony, Academy Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio said that as a UN Messenger of Peace, he had been travelling all over the world for the last two years, documenting how this crisis is changing the natural balance of our planet. He has seen cities like Beijing choked by industrial pollution; ancient boreal forests in Canada that have been clear-cut; rainforests in Indonesia that have been incinerated, and unprecedented droughts in California.

"All that I have seen and learned on this journey has terrified me [...] I do not need to throw statistics at you. You know them better than I do, and more importantly, you know what will happen if this scourge is left unchecked," he told the delegates, adding: "Now think about the shame that each of us will carry when our children and grandchildren look back and realize that we had the means of stopping this devastation, but simply lacked the political will to do so."

Although the historic signing of the Paris Agreement is reason for hope, evidence shows that will not be enough. "Our planet cannot be saved unless we leave fossil fuels in the ground where they belong. An upheaval and massive change is required now – one that leads to a new collective consciousness. A new collective evolution of the human race inspired and enabled by a sense of urgency from all of you," DiCaprio said.

Photo: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas. Leonardo DiCaprio addresses the Signing Cermony

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