New York/Nairobi, 26 March 2010 - The United Nations will observe 'Earth Hour' this Saturday at its Headquarters in New York and in other offices around the world to show its continuing commitment to action on climate change.
Earth Hour, promoted by WWF, the global conservation organization, asks people and institutions to turn off their lights for one hour on Saturday night between 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called Earth Hour "both a warning and a beacon of hope".
"By switching off non-essential lights for an hour, people will join a symbolic display that can inspire the change we so urgently need," he said.
"As we watch the lights go out from continent to continent, let us reflect on the fragility and importance of our natural heritage and pledge to protect it for a sustainable future for all."
The message of Earth Hour is simple, he said, adding that climate change is a concern for each of us.
"Solutions are within our grasp and are ready to be implemented by individuals, communities, businesses and governments around the globe."
Earth Hour organizers say that in 2009, hundreds of millions of people in 4,088 cities, towns and municipalities across 88 countries participated and hope that the event will reach more than one billion people around the globe, in more than 6,000 cities, this year.
In Nairobi, the United Nations compound will participate by turning off lights, including along the main flag posts footpath and in all office blocks. Elsewhere in Nairobi, Earth Hour will be marked by switching off the lights at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre's main tower.
This will be accompanied with a live performance by Kenya's afro-jazz maestro Achieng' Abura as she launches her environmental album, "Time for change".