Secretary will hear testimony from activists and Indigenous people.">
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    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon | Photo: teleSUR

Published 3 October 2015
Opinion

The United Nations General-Secretary will hear testimony from activists and Indigenous people.

Bolivian President Evo Morales announced on Friday that United Nations General-Secretary Ban Ki-Moon will participate in the upcoming World People's Conference on Climate Change, scheduled to take place October 10-12 in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba.

“Today, the United Nations General-Secretary, our brother Ban Ki Moon has confirmed that he will participate in this international event,” Morales told a group of supporters.

The U.N. General-Secretary will be joined by regional heads of state, including Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa and Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro. Thousands more are also expected to visit the country to participate in the People's Summit. 

In 2010, Bolivia hosted a similar “People's Summit” following U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen, which was attended by over 30,000 people from around the world. In contrast to the U.N. talks, which focus on the perspective of the participating nation-states, the summit emphasizes the views of Indigenous people and those involved in social movements.

RELATED: Latin America's Fight for a Just Climate Solution

A key topic of discussion at the last summit was the notion of “climate debt”: that the world’s most developed nations, as the globe’s leading polluters, owe reparations to the developing nations that are likely to be most affected by climate change. To that end, a working group at the summit proposed a Climate Justice Tribunal with “the authority to judge, civilly and criminally, states, multilateral organizations, transnational corporations, and any legal persons responsible for aggravating the causes and impacts of climate change.”

Proposals put forward at the upcoming summit will be presented at a U.N. climate conference to be held in Paris later this year, where governments will once again attempt to reach an agreement on a new international protocol to address climate change.

The United Nations Climate Change Conferences have been held on an annual basis since 1995. The chief focus of the meetings is to assess progress in dealing with climate change and, ultimately, to establish legally binding obligations for countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

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