UN chief Ban to visit Ebola-hit African nations

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United Nations, Dec 17: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today said he will embark on a trip today to Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone, the four African countries most affected by the deadly Ebola outbreak.

Ban will also visit Ghana, where the headquarters of the first-ever UN emergency health mission on Ebola is located. Accompanied by WHO Director General Margaret Chan, Ban said he wants to see for himself the response to the outbreak and "show my solidarity with those affected and urge even greater global action.

Ban ki moon

"Ebola responders are doing heroic work. Local communities and national governments are highly engaged. There has been an impressive outpouring of life-saving contributions from across Africa and across the world. The Ebola response strategy is working, and we are beginning to see improvements," he said, adding that the international community should not ease up on its efforts.

"As long as there is one case of Ebola, the risk remains. We must do everything we can to get to zero," he said. On climate change, Ban said nations participating in the climate summit meeting in Lima agreed on a draft negotiating text to serve as the basis for the next round of negotiations beginning in February in Geneva.

Ban described the Lima meeting as the "most encouraging" conference of parties he has attended in his eight years as the UN chief. Countries also provided clarity on the mitigation and other commitments to be included in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Ban said such these steps will help maintain the momentum towards Paris, where the a universal and meaningful agreement on climate change would be adopted in 2015.

"There is still a great deal of work ahead on finance and other difficult issues. But all governments, along with business and others, civil society, now agree they must curb the growth in emissions," he said.

PTI

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