Sarkozy, UN chief talk climate change in New York

18th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with UN chief Ban Ki-moon for a working lunch Friday, ahead of a concert here this weekend honoring South Africa's Nelson Mandela at which the French first lady will perform.

New York - French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with UN chief Ban Ki-moon for a working lunch Friday, ahead of a concert here this weekend honoring South Africa's Nelson Mandela at which the French first lady will perform.

During the working lunch at the French consulate in New York at 2:30 pm (1830 GMT), Ban and Sarkozy discussed a variety of key international issues, with a specific focus on climate change.

Sarkozy called for new action on environmental issues, which were a major part of discussions at this month's G8 summit in Italy.

"We will fight, hand in hand, a battle against the consequences of climate change. We must create a global organization on the environment," Sarkozy said.

Ban expressed his "sincere appreciation for the great leadership that the president of France, leader of the G8 and the G20, has on climate change.

"I am very happy to have such a strong support, very grateful for his commitment on climate change," he said.

The two leaders also discussed several regional crises, including Iran, Sudan and Somalia.

Sarkozy's wife Carla Bruni, who arrived in New York with him late Thursday, did not attend the lunch, which will be the only work-related meeting on his brief US trip.

The highlight of the visit, and its main purpose, will come on Saturday when Bruni will perform at a charity concert celebrating revered South African statesman Nelson Mandela's 91st birthday.

Mandela will not attend, but artists including Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder will perform to raise money for the charity 46664 -- the prisoner number assigned to Mandela during the 27 years he spent in prison for anti-apartheid activities before becoming South Africa's first black president.

Bruni, a former model turned musician, said she would stop performing publicly after she married Sarkozy.

But she has made an exception for the concert because the charity supports efforts to find a cure for AIDS, the disease that killed her brother.

The French first couple will return to Paris immediately after the concert.

AFP / Expatica

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