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Ban Ki-Moon to visit Svalbard in climate move

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Ban Ki-Moon to visit Svalbard in climate move
Ban Ki-Moon on his trip to Svalbard in 2009. Photo: UN/Mark Garten
23:39 CEST+02:00
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon plans to visit the Arctic islands of Svalbard next week as part of his preparations for the UN's Climate Change Conference in Paris in December.
According to Norway's NTB newswire, Ban will visit the Svalbard Islands' capital Longyearbyen before moving on to the research settlement of Ny-Ålesund further north on Spitzbergen. 
 
“It sends an important signal that the Secretary General wants to return to Svalbard,” Norway's foreign minister Børge Brende said in a statement. 
 
“There is nowhere else in the world were climate change is as apparent as it is in the Arctic. It is necessary to increase political commitment to be able to come ashore with a robust and sustainable climate agreement in Paris in December.” ¨
 
Ban on Monday complained that climate negotiations were moving at "a snail's pace". 
 
“The negotiation pace is too slow, far too slow,” Ban told reporters after a high-level meeting on Monday. “It is moving at a snail's pace.”
 
Ban also visited Svalbard in 2009 in the months running up to the climate talks in Copenhagen. 
 
He will start his visit to Norway on Monday 6 July where he will announce the latest progress report on the Millennium Development Goals alongside Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Rwandan Prime Minister Paul Kagame. 
 
On Tuesday, he will open a conference on education and meet Crown Prince Haakon at the Royal Palace.
 
 
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