Statement by Timothy Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, on the Major Economies Forum

April 27, 2009


Megan Rabbitt

The Major Economies Forum is hosted by the United States, and brings together the world’s 17 largest carbon dioxide-emitting nations, the United Nations, and Denmark. This is the first of three proposed meetings, designed to culminate at the G-8, hosted by Italy, in early July.

“Even as discussions proceed on the elements of a new agreement on emissions limits, tangible progress can be made right now on first steps that will engage a wider array of countries and result in immediate action.

“Building block agreements, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and technological innovation, would augment and support the formal United Nations-led negotiations. If developing and developed countries join in these early, concerted actions that take on the climate challenge directly, it would build trust and momentum toward a comprehensive deal in Copenhagen.

“Reaching a deal in Copenhagen will be hard enough; leaving all the negotiations to the last minute could make it unachievable. Preliminary agreements will engender good faith and make a down payment on the more serious commitments that must follow.”


About the United Nations Foundation

The UN Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation is an advocate for the UN and a platform for connecting people, ideas, and resources to help the United Nations solve global problems. We build partnerships, grow constituencies, mobilize resources and advocate policy changes to support the UN’s work for individual and global progress. The UN Foundation’s work – focused on select global problems – is decreasing child mortality, improving disaster relief, protecting diverse cultures and environments, creating a clean energy future, empowering women and girls, and improving U.S.-UN relations.  For more information, visit

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