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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Moscow (Russian Federation)

22 April 2011

Opening remarks at press conference with H.E. Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation

Ya ochen rad byt zdes s vami segodnya. [I am very glad to be here with you today.]

Let me thank you again President Medvedev and Foreign Minister Lavrov for the warm welcome and hospitality.

It is quite encouraging that I have had a good meeting with the Foreign Minister this morning and with the President this afternoon.

I will not repeat all the topics which we have discussed since Minister Lavrov has very kindly briefed about all that we have discussed.

I underlined the importance of Russia's continued support for the United Nations to advance our common agenda: to secure peace and security, end poverty, make development sustainable and control the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and also the importance of nuclear safety.

The dramatic events which we are seeing in the Middle East and North Africa underscore the need for people everywhere in the world to live in freedom with prosperity, and to live with dignity.

The United Nations will continue to work with the Member States so that we can provide the necessary help to those people when they are wanting to have genuine freedom and greater democracy, and liberty.

On global governance, climate change and sustainable development, we affirmed the importance of international cooperation. These challenges go beyond national boundaries.

I thanked President Medvedev for his efforts to address development issues at the G-20 Forum and for strengthening the role of the United Nations in global economic governance. As a member of the G-8 and G-20 and BRICS, Russia is in a unique position to support the UN's role in global governance.

Beyond the Climate Change Conference, I am counting on Russia's strong and active engagement in the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro.

I deeply appreciate, once again, Russia's broad support for the United Nations ... its political backing ... its resources ... and most importantly, Russia's guidance and direction as we navigate the challenges ahead.

Thank you.