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Last updated at 16:22 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

News Words: Summit



The BBC's Clare Arthurs looks at some of the words and phrases often used in the news and their meanings in various contexts.

Today: Summit

Uses of 'summit' and some other related words


the highest point of a mountain, the peak


a meeting of high importance, e.g. between world leaders; because it's a top level meeting, a summit usually has an objective, unlike a meeting which is just for talking or discussion

an unprecedented summit

a top level meeting which is unlike any other, or a first of its kind

the results/decisions of a summit

official decisions made during or immediately after a summit that are announced or issued as a statement or communique


talks over a sensitive issue, often aimed at resolving a conflict

Listen to Clare's talk


Examples from the talk

Chinese scientists are to re-measure the world's tallest peak, Mount Everest, because of fears it may be shrinking. A recent survey found the summit had dropped by 1.3 meters because of global warming.

NATO leaders have ended a summit with President Bush - intended to renew the Transatlantic Alliance after recent strains.

An unprecedented summit of South American leaders has been dominated by concerns about Colombia's anti-narcotics policies.

More examples from BBC websites

Sibusiso Vilane, a 32-year-old South African man, has become the first black climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest...
more about this story >>

At least 40 world leaders are likely to attend December's UN climate summit in Copenhagen in a bid to secure a new global treaty...
more about this story >>

France's President Sarkozy has even threatened to walk out if the tough financial regulation he wants is watered down. Perhaps it's pre-summit bluster...
more about this story >>

A challenge for you

Are summit meetings always the best answer to burning international issues? How optimistic are you the summit in Copenhagen will really prove a turning point in tackling the climate change? Send us your short 'news story' making sure you use the word 'summit' in it.

We'll publish our favourite ones on this page.

This topic has now closed. Thanks for all your comments.

Saiful Hadi Sirat, Malaysia
We are always hopping every second, every minute, every hour, every day and every year, but after the summit the action is same. All countries have own agenda. We are sure, next summit, global warming still a big issue. How to solve?. The problem come from us, so we must act as problem solver not waiting creatures from other planets. We must act accordingly if we love our earth and our next generation. Have a Nice Day and Nice Earth.

Ahmad kabo,Nigeria
The leaders attending this summit are those to impose the rule or control the global warming in their respective countries. As an individual and a proud Nigerian concern, i will do all my possible best to minimize this global threat. We hope this will mark the end of this atmospheric state of fear

Aliyu, Nigeria
I hope this much talked about summit taking place in Copenhagen will eventually be worth the noise and the headlines generated.

Aliyu, Nigeria
A particular mountain in my home town is picked to be the highest. Once we ascended to its summit, it was the coolest open space I have ever visited.

Li Jian, China
I hold a pessimatic opnion that no effective ways should be find in this summit since there was a huge gap among the haves and have-nots towards the global warming in terms of money and resposibilities which they should share in the future.

Aliyu Alhassan, Nigeria
Fish among other sea foods used to be the staple menu for the people of my community. But what remains now is the memory of the glorious past. The fish(es) have fast disappeared. This ,the people think calls for a summit to help unravel the mystery. And also to help save the dwindling diet of the poor people of Reba town; a small village in the north-central part of Nigeria, surrounded by lakes, ponds and fast flowing rivers.

Raul, Spain
Last week was celebrated a summit in Norwey, where world leaders talked about the climate change and measures to take to avoid environmental problems in the future.

Sean, China
I don't think the summit on climate in copenhagen will cause a cirtual effect on climate change. the developed countries set the policy mostly depend on their own countries' benefits.if the industry countries promised to reduce co2. then will effect their economy development.

Martins, Tiago, Brazil
The summit in Copenhagen is a very good news, because it shows a refresh in world governors intends about environment issue.But it's not enough. Beside that, the world leaders need to take some concret actions to make the climate changes decrease.

Hing Sokunthy, Cambodia
In general, I think that the summit on climate change in Copenhagen will bring some hopes for developing nations as result of tiredless advocacy of internationally environmental activits/protesters. However, conflict on reducing CO2 between industrilized countries still continue because of interest bargaining.

Mauro, Italy
I believe that when vital topics need to be discussed summit meetings are more than indispensable. The talks in Copenhagen mainly regard the air pollution reduction, but in my opinion this is not enought to save our planet. When will there be a summit to face the other vital issue: the fast growing of the earth population? Even if we stopped the global warming our planet resources wouldn't be enough to ensure a decent style of life for everybody!

Summit meetings may alwys be the best answer to burning international issues,but it is doutless that they are one of the ways to solve such problems.

Iraq - Kurdistan
Although world leaders have promised to do their best to tackle the davestating consequences of climate change, some observers believe that these kind of summit is not enough to rely on even allocating of such amount money to help poor nations and reduce gap between north and south, in my view we lack of political will to prevent bad effects of factors and heavy industries and chop down rain forests.

Tamea, Hungary
In my opinion, this summit, like the others, won't hit the real target. Unfortunately, behind these questions there's business. Furthermore, the CO quota also became a business. I don't know what should be the best solution that all countries take the necessary measures in order to tackling the climate change.

Shahul, Kerala, India
now days world are going to declay due to climate my viw that people are not bother about climate change.because tehy living without any intention.first we want make a good awareness about climate change.via visual media.i submit tis msg that protect nature .we can keep our green nature for a better life.this is my sbmit.

Sebastien , France
Summit meetings could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be dismissed as useless. It is better to take up a challenge than to feel discouraged and helpless in face of difficulty. Where there is a will, there is a way! But don't delude yourself! In some extent, summit meetings make us live in a real cloud-cuckoo-land. Even though summit meetings are seemingly a watershed, all the decisions hinge on money and national interest. G20 summit (Pittsburgh) is a vivid example: while the meeting was hyped up in the media as unprecedented, it is still the poorest countries which bear the brunt of the economic woes. Basic food's prices soared at a blistering pace due to western speculation and these countries take the IMF medicine. These policies are utterly inimical to the interest of local population. It's time to wise up and realise we are being manipulated!

Carla, France
I don't believe this summit will tackle all the current problems. I think countries serve always their own interest and that will be difficult to find an agreement where as the United States keep the same stance.

Zhang, China
The difference between the developed and developing countries it so big, it's very hard to reach a consensus at the summit. I think the key lies on the former, because the rich countries have polluted the sky for more than a century,and they are responsible for 82 percent of all the greenhouse gases, but now they want to tackle the global warming at the expense of the development of the developing countries.It's more important to discuss how to provide capital and technology to poor countries,so that they can develop sustainbale.

Harpinder Nagra,India
The relevance of a word lies if it preceeds a thought and succeeds into an action.I hope this summit brings in some concrete,effective and practical measures,for when I ask when will we respond to a wake up call?

Sheila, Germany
Like in nature itself, the sun is brightly shining on the mountain´s peak - so you will find at a summit like the one in Copenhagen all those people and leading politicians, kean to show the sun of ecology is shining on them. But this is only the outside. Any peak is supported by the bottom, e.g. by all the women and men really working hard and heartful for the summit´s important resolutions. Supported also by each and everyone of us learning to know that finally we are all one mankind on only one beautiful planet.

Jean, Taiwan, R. O. C.
Because of the China's intervention, Taiwan has not been able to resume its membership of the U.N.since 1971.The fortnight summit conference at Copenhagen - the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) - kicked off on 7th this month. Although our country is not entitled to participate the Summit, our Environmental Protection Administration has set the goal to reduce the carbon emission during 2016 to 2020 back to the level of 2008, and in 2025 back to the level of 2000 to tackle the global warming problem with the countries all over the world.

The summit wiil be great useful because it can make the voice made by the prisidents heard over the world!

Cristina, Mexico
I must be optimistic, is the only way to face what is going on in my country,. In Mexico City there will be a raise of 442% the cost of water. Would you believe that? Most important to thank you all for the work you've done during this year. Happy holyday happy New Year. Of course I'll be joining you in January.

Rolando, Nicaragua
I think summits like these are a waste of time and resourses. Each president of each country should take this business on their own, depending on the situation of the nation and taking care of the global circunstances too. Just imagine what a waste of money is planning a summit like this and how much money the presidents of each nation have spent to attend it.

Sayeda, Bangladesh
Copenhagen summit is successful when the leading countries of the world concern about the problems of the world. They take the summit in a height if they are interested to do something for the welfare of mankind.

Antonio, Brazil
In my point of view, the summit should be more efficient. I think the leaders are still starting to see that our planet is being destroyed and not only the leaders but everyone has a slice of responsability in preserve our planet. Most of people complain and do nothing to improve our air, jungles, rivers, seas, etc. I think our planet, our life quality will improve only when we start to do little things that make the difference like throw down a can of pop into the garbage.

Hiep, Vietnam
The summit in Copenhagen where representatives of nations discuss about the climate changes. I believe that the summit would be successful. people will find out the best way to limit pollution, reducing CO2 gas from factories in order to save the mankind

Ali, Somalia
United states is the most powerful country on earht, therefore if it works faithfully and smoothly lacking any versed-interest,of its own and its other alliences, thereofe iam sure that the Copenhagen climate change convention could be succeeded and result fruitful expectancy.

Satyavrata das, Russia
The summit would be useful.

Sara, Toledo
Even though the most of international convention only stays in the conversation....I suposed that some importants things can be expressive. But, in the most of cases, there are more politics type than interesting to resolve the really problems. Like, for example the U.S cases. The summit metting in Copenhagen proved this!

Dieter, Germany
I rather doubt that a deal can be done in Copenhagen. At the summit the countries will fight frst of all for their own interests and only second for the needs of our planet and mankind. Maybe there is some kind of agreement, that will help to make a new climate treaty in the months to come.

Thierry, France
Copenhagen summit which is held in these days is a very expensive one. All these delegations, political leaders, bodygards, have come by airplanes, by cars, by trains, which is a bizarre way considering the topic of the summit : the climate change and the measures needed to avoid a too high increase in the earth temperature.Shall we be able to change something in Copenhagen ? Due to the expensive carbon dioxide amount used to attend this summit, I'm quite sceptical !

Selma, Turkey
I believe the leaders of the countries are the "subconractors" of the financial giants. So; if the top richs of the world have advantages saving the world, yes, Copenhagen or the other summits will make a difference. If the richs just think to relieve raising concerns of the international vox populi, these kind of summits will just be a "theater".

Gaston Choupe, Cameroon
The Copenhagen summit on climate change is an opportunity to world leaders to take their responsibilties in order to save our planet from collapsing.It is clear that this summit results will depend on the balace world learders would give to immediate gains from capitalist ideology and ever lasting peaceful planet for all human being.Above all, Hope is on the agender, even taught not very on the top.

Thu Thuy, Vietnam
I don't believe the summit in Copenhagen will really results.

Majid, Iran
Perhaps every meeting in United Nations is something like summit meeting but the results are not always helpful. The Copenhagen summit could be better if all countries accept their own responsibilities. In particular, U.S. government claims that it is world leader but it does not play its best role as a leadership in that kind of issue.

Norma, Argentina
if the USA changes its actions against the climate, its habbits, i think we have some hopes toward the future, because the next generations need our deal,we have a great challenge.

Sayed, Sweden
the Frace and UK leaders had summit yesterday. It was about financial reforms and deals about the economy and job in Europe.

Leena, Finland
It is very important to obtain the large states of the climate campaign in, otherwise we will not get far in Europe alone by moving forward on environmental issues. The largest (America, China, Russia, etc.) countries' share of air pollution is significant, so that the summit is an important first step toward real action.

Ali, Somalia
actually yes, summit meetings always plays an active to burning international issues. to me I am not optimistic about the world leaders summit in Copenhagen aimed at greenhouse gas reduction because I do believe that rich nations are undermining the developing nations as we saw the leaked report released by the Guardian Newspaper.


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