San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

President Arias to speak on climate change at U.N. summit in New York

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias will join the ranks of 25 other heads of state, including U.S. President Barack Obama, on Sept. 22 for a climate change summit at the United Nations in New York City, the Costa Rican representative to the United Nations confirmed Thursday.

In addition to participating in round table discussions about each country´s role in climate change negotiations, the U.N. Secretariat selected Arias as one of seven heads of state to address the summit with a short speech.

Jairo Hernández, deputy permanent representative for Costa Rica to the U.N., said Arias will speak as the global leader of developing countries.

“Middle-income countries are called upon to play an important role since the main emissions problem is caused by developed countries,” Hernández said. “These emissions will have limits that will have to be accounted for by what developing countries do.”

Hernández noted that Latin America represents a large portion of the world´s developing nations and Arias will fight for a global approach to solving the problem.

On his speech agenda are points such as reducing gases, reforestation, increasing energy efficiency and better agriculture practices.

Hernández said the meeting is “an important step” toward the negotiations to take place in the U.N.´s Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December.

Arias will join President Hu Jintao of China and U.S. President Barack Obama in a nuclear arms debate Sept. 24, after the climate change summit concludes.

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