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New York, Nov 19 2009 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hoping to boost momentum for December’s climate change conference in Copenhagen when he meets with political leaders at the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago next Friday, his spokesperson said today.

“The Secretary-General expects to focus the attention of these leaders on key issues that require their engagement in the climate change negotiations, in particular, concerning mitigation and finance,” Michele Montas told reporters.

She added that the Commonwealth Meeting is a crucial gathering of leaders in the run-up to the conference set to begin on 7 December in the Danish capital, where countries will aim to reach accord on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 pact which has strong, legally binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and whose first commitment period ends in 2012.

“The Secretary-General hopes to boost momentum for an ambitious outcome in Copenhagen that will advance international action on climate change,” Ms. Montas stated.

In addition to participating in special sessions on climate change, Mr. Ban will also hold bilateral meetings with heads of State and government on issues of mutual interest during his two-day visit.

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