“Together we Can” Says UN Secretary General Candidate Christiana Figueres

Christiana Figueres raises her hand at the UN Secretary General debate. Photo: Twitter / @niayancopoulos
Christiana Figueres raises her hand at the UN Secretary General debate. Photo: Twitter / @niayancopoulos

Christiana Figueres has said that should she become the next UN Secretary General, she would deliver more breakthroughs like the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In her opening remarks during a TV debate between the candidates for the United Nations top job, the former UN climate chief highlighted the “multilateral breakthrough” she delivered with the global climate deal.

“I believe that with clear leadership together we can, and we must, continue to deliver multilateral breakthroughs time after time after time,” the 59-year-old Costa Rican said.

The Al Jazeera debate on 12 July was the first-ever TV debate about the UN post, and featured a dozen candidates explaining why they are the best choice for succeeding UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Collapsed Negotiation

Figueres said her vision is “that of a community of nations coming together to work in a deeply collaborative manner to address the toughest problems of our planet.”

“I know that this is difficult, I know this is difficult because I have done it,” she said.

Figueres pointed out that six years ago, she inherited “a collapsed negotiation with a total deadlock in the process and a total absence of trust among all parties involved.”

She said she turned the situation around into the “most ambitious agreement that is unanimous, that is legally binding, and that points a clear path forward for all nations and all other stakeholders to address the issue of climate change,” she said.

Patience And Determination

Figueres stressed the global climate deal was made possible because with “patience and determination,” the world “collectively built a process that respected national needs, national ambitions, and that was at the same time capable of identifying the common ground.”

“That is multilateralism at its best,” she said, and should Figueres get the job she would seek to expand that approach to other areas of the United Nations, she said, “In particular in peace and security that is at the heart of the UN.”

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