FROM THE UN
Following are the remarks of UN Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon at gala reception for Sustainable Energy for all, in Rio de Janeiro, 21
Yesterday, I was committed to participate in your meeting, but I am sorry that
I was not able to participate directly in person because of all the hectic
schedules but I was able to join by telephone. In any way, I am very much
appreciative of your strong support and vision.
This is my twelfth side event that I have been attending, only today. All
the people, all the delegations who have been participating on this and that
side events, they were there with serious reasons. I think you are also with a
very serious cause – energy.
But as soon as I entered this room – and I have been hearing all your
speeches – everybody seems to be in a very festive mood.
First of all, the President and Government have demonstrated their leadership,
and they made this outcome document already almost agreed.
At the prep com, they have gathered at least. We have to adopt this
tomorrow afternoon, but I am sure that the Member States will adopt it, so
everybody is lighthearted.
The energy issue has gotten the most support, strongest support, in the course
of our negotiation, and this is the most important initiative as a golden
Everybody understands, it is well-reflected in [the] outcome document, and I
really thank you for all your support, strong engagement and leadership.
While I am standing here, with a very much festive mood, I thought that somehow
it may be alright for me to say just a few jokes, to make even lighter.
How many negotiators do you think are needed to change a light bulb?
How many negotiators, how many people?
You might have heard this very funny joke. It is just ridiculous, you
need three persons to change a light bulb.
holding a light bulb, and somebody, he has to step on a chair, and somebody
should hold the chair. And the third person should turn his body over the
person who is holding the chair.
For negotiators, we need three negotiators. They are very serious. First
thing the negotiators are doing, do you know what, they just [inaudible] it. So
then you want to change light bulb, the first negotiator will break it.
The second negotiator will break it off. Only the third negotiator
can change a light bulb.
has been very difficult, time-consuming, painfully slow negotiations.
Now how many UN staff would be necessary to change a light bulb?
Do you know how many? Four thousand.
Why four thousand? I made a decision that all these four thousand people
working in [the] UN building must go out at once for renovation, because we
wanted to change all light bulbs in the buildings. By the time we move
back to the very landmark historic building, we will be able to save at least
50% energy efficiency. So we will need maybe just half a bulb per person,
by that time. So four thousand [inaudible].
how many partners do you think to change a bulb?
I have been counting, I think we need all the partners here. All the
partners to change a bulb So this we have to give light bulbs to 1.4
billion people, and I am very encouraged and grateful to many of you already
[who] have made such a generous support. 50 billion dollars. I
don’t know how many years you have to count if you want to give me one
dollar a day. Maybe, I will not be able to count it during my lifetime. One
hundred years maybe. Again, I would like to thank [inaudible] for such a
I am told by our senior advisors that during this period we have received tens
of billions of dollars of commitments. This is a huge, huge commitment, and I
hope this will really help in lighting the world – lighting the world for
1.4 billion people.
As you know, we have set three targets: energy access, doubling the efficiency
of energy and doubling the rate of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
These are very ambitious targets, but I am told by you, our high-level
expert advisors, that this can be done, this can be done.
I am very much encouraged by this outcome document by this Rio+20. This
is my first time, in attending this mega, massive, huge-scale multilateral
meeting, but even before my arrival, the agreement was almost done.
So I arrived here with very light heart because I did not need to engage in
many, many delegations. I have mobilized many tens of our senior advisors
here. They were mobilized here to just engage in all delegations, to
convince them, so that we can really agree on an ambitious, very concrete
outcome document for humanity.
I really appreciate Brazilian diplomacy, and I appreciate President Dilma Rousseff
for her strong commitment to make this happen, and all other delegations who
showed such a sense of flexibility for [the] common good, common humanity.
In their energy is the most important tool. We have been discussing
climate change, water scarcity, [the] food crisis, gender empowerment,
sanitation, health, organizations, livable cities, transportation, [and]
disaster risk reduction.
How can you do it without energy? That is why energy is the golden thread
and everybody agrees and I am very glad.
I have been congratulated upon by so many people that you are making a great
success in energy, and I am only grateful to all [these] high-level members of
this energy group and I hope that we can work together to put all of us and our
coming generations on a greater sustainable path.
us bring this world to a greater sustainable path where everybody can live with
dignity and harmony and prosperity. Again I thank you very much. Let us