U.N. Chief Bound For Antarctica


United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon will be the first UN secretary general to set foot in Antarctica today as he sets off to the planet's southernmost continent to observe the effects of climate change first-hand.

"Galvanizing international action on global warming is one of my main priorities as secretary general," he said Thursday in Santiago, Chile alongside the country's president, Michelle Bachelet.Ban and Bachelet.will be visiting a Chilean research base there to speak to scientists who are examining the effects of industry and pollution on the polar ice cap. Before that, however, they'll be making a quick stop in Punta Arenas, a town in southern Chile perched beneath a hole in the ozone layer.

Then, flying back from Antarctica, Ban will inspect the melting glaciers in Chile's Torres del Paine national park, as well as the much-besieged Amazon forest. Not the most uplifting of sojourns, but somebody's got to do it. Here's hoping it results in tangible actions, not another gab fest. ::AFP

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