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By Mohammed Al-Otaibi
NEW YORK, April 21 (KUNA) -- More than 150 countries from around the globe will send their representatives to gather at the World's top body to partake in the high-level signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, creating a better future for people and the planet.
Over 60 Heads of State and Government will attend the ceremony held on Friday, including French President Franأ§ois Hollande, demonstrating the continued high level of engagement by world leaders to accept and implement the Paris Agreement.
Kuwait's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that Kuwait's high representation -His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah- in this "historic event," comes to highlight the "importance" of the issue for the state.
"It is a clear message to the international community that Kuwait is serious towards this vital issue, and willing to contribute along with other countries to reduce negative manifestations of the climate change phenomenon," he added.
Ambassador Al-Otaibi told KUNA he is hoping for other countries to join this significant bind, and sign the agreement in order to guarantee its implementation. "Implementation is essential for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and provides a roadmap for climate actions that will reduce emission and build climate resilience," he said.
The Kuwaiti representative said there are 12 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that directly involve taking action on climate change.
A record number of countries are expected to sign the historic climate agreement adopted last December in Paris.
The signing ceremony will mark the first step toward ensuring that the Paris Agreement enters into force as early as possible.
The agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification or acceptance with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The signing ceremony will also bring together leaders from civil society and the private sector to discuss efforts to boost financing for climate action and sustainable development, and to increase actions that would achieve the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting average global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
In reference to this watershed moment, the UN Chief said in an earlier occasion that "Paris was historic, but it's only the beginning." He called to "urgently" accelerate efforts to tackle climate change.
Ban also expressed that he never lost faith over his nine years in office that the international community could rise to the challenge and take steps to curb emission and boost climate-resilient growth.
"Now I count on Governments, and all sectors of society, to turn these commitments into urgent, decisive action," he added.
The Director of the UN Secretary General's Climate Change Support Team Selwin Hart said in a press conference held prior to the occasion that "from a historical perspective, this will be a great day for the United Nations." According to UN records, the largest ever number of countries to sign an international agreement in one day was in 1982, when 119 countries signed the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Paris Agreement is expected to break a record in this respect, and ensure as soon as possible that a massive global transformation can begin towards a sustainable future for people everywhere.
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