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Former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Thursday for the active involvement of political leaders, businesses and citizens to address what he calls the “global heating” crisis.

Ban cited climate change as the most pressing risk to humanity, saying that never before have we faced such a “multilayered” crisis.

Governments and political leaders “should prioritize the climate crisis as a national agenda,” he said at the ninth Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, an annual international peace forum, on South Korea’s southern resort island of Jeju.

The latest appeal by the former South Korean foreign minister came as a series of disasters devastated different parts of the planet in recent decades, prompting calls to accelerate the transition to green energy and renewable sources to tackle climate change.

Floods from heavy rains since late April have devastated Brazil’s southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, leaving more than 160 people dead and some 800 others injured. So far, 85 people have gone missing and over 580,000 people have been displaced.



Also at the forum, former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said the most urgent task is to build an international framework utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

“If AI technology is used in a positive direction, there will be no issues,” he said, at the same time cautiously warning of possible side effects of the technology.

Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, executive director of the APEC Secretariat, cited the lack of communication as a major threat to global peace and prosperity.

“The biggest threat to peace and prosperity is that we are not listening to each other,” she said, urging leaders to establish platforms for candid conversations.

She further called on middle-power member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to play a larger role in this process.

ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.


Source: Yonhap News Agency