UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations concluded on Tuesday night a day-long summit on climate change, with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urging world leaders to act speedily to ensure a successful outcome at the upcoming UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December. I was heartened to hear that a growing number of leaders are prepared to move beyond purely national perspectives to global leadership, the UN chief told world leaders at the closing session of the summit. More than one hundred heads of state and government attended the summit convened by the secretary-general in an effort to pave the way for a fair, effective, and ambitious climate deal in Copenhagen this December. President Asif Ali Zardari, who is in New York at the head of the Pakistan delegation to the UN General Assembly, sent Dr Asim Hussain, Chairman of the National Reconstruction Bureau, to represent Pakistan. You have undertaken to remain engaged until a deal has been sealed in Copenhagen. And you have agreed to give guidance to your negotiators to work toward an ambitious, effective and fair deal in Copenhagen, he said in his concluding address to the delegates from around the world. Dr Hussain, the Pakistani representative, spoke in one of the roundtable of the Climate Change Summit. He reaffirmed his governments commitment to global efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change, and said the government was taking urgent steps to address the phenomenon. We are paying special attention to low carbon energy generation initiatives, including hydro, nuclear wind and solar energy as well as low carbon emissions initiatives such as promoting use of biofuels and adoption of clean coal technology, he said. Dr Hussain called for help from the international community to enable Pakistan, which faces difficult challenges, to carry its plan to combat environmental degradation. Calling climate change a defining challenge of our time, Ban said that the summit signalled the determination of world leaders to address this challenge and reach a substantive deal in Copenhagen. All of you support the urgent need to step up action and raise the financial resources needed to make this happen, the Secretary-General said. In a summary of the message of the summit, Ban said the Copenhagen deal must be comprehensive and ensure: - enhanced action to assist the most vulnerable and the poorest to adapt to the impacts of climate change; - ambitious emission reduction targets for industrialized countries; - nationally-appropriate mitigation actions by developing countries with the necessary support; - significantly scaled-up financial and technological resources; and - an equitable governance structure. In an emotional speech, the president of the Maldives, the most vulnerable nation to Climate change, warned that complacency on this crucial matter tantamount to a global suicide pact. His plea stood out among a series of marquee speeches from the leaders of China, the US, France and others. President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives pleaded with his powerful counterparts not to let the crisis slip through their fingers. We cannot make Copenhagen a pact of suicide - we have to make a deal, said Nasheed, who in March emerged as a moral voice on climate change after unveiling plans to make the Maldives the first carbon neutral nation. Tuesdays UN summit marks one of the final opportunities for nations to trade warm rhetoric for hard commitment in the run-up to Decembers Copenhagen conference, where the UN hopes a new global framework for emissions reduction will emerge to replace the failed Kyoto Accord. President Hu Jintao told his counterparts that China is readying a four-part package of commitments aimed at cutting emissions by a notable margin, including a plan to plant 40-million hectares of carbon-absorbing forest. But Hu cautioned that China, like other developing countries, have limited capability due to technology gaps. Developing countries need to strike a balance between economic growth, social development and environmental protection. President Barack Obama said the US, like other nations, was slow to response or even recognize the magnitude of the climate threat. But this is a new day. This is a new era. And I am proud to say that the US has done more to promote clean energy and reduce carbon pollution in the last eight months than at any time in our history, Obama said. Doubts remain about Obamas ability to deliver on US commitments, given that any pledges must also be sanctioned by the US Congress, where an energy and climate bill may not be ready in time for Copenhagen. But the momentum building in New York today is expected to bring new urgency to the issue - and, possibly, fresh leadership, as European delegates in particular turn up the heat. If we dont take action we will face total disaster. There can be no further debate on this, said French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who outlined the European Unions willingness to spend as much as $100b over the next decade on technology transfers to enable developing countries to reduce emissions while maintaining growing economies. In Europe we are demonstrating we can move from growth with high carbon footprint to sustainable growth, Sarkozy said. No one will have to choose between unemployment and the environment.