Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Opening remarks at press conference

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Geneva (Switzerland), 01 March 2013

Bonjour Mesdames et Messieurs de la presse,

Je suis très heureux d'être de retour à Genève.

Je viens de parler au Conseil des droits de l'homme sur le sujet très important de l'intégration des droits de l'homme dans tout le travail de l'ONU, et dans le programme de développement pour l’après-2015 en particulier. Notre objectif : tous les droits de l'homme pour tous.

Ma visite à Genève a été bien remplie.

J'ai rencontré les chefs des organismes des Nations Unies basés ici, ainsi que des membres du personnel. Nous avons parlé de la façon d'obtenir de meilleurs résultats alors que l’Organisation a de moins en moins de ressources et de plus en plus à faire.

J'ai visité l'UNOSAT, le Programme de l’UNITAR pour les applications satellitaires opérationnelles, qui fournit des images cruciales pour notre action dans le domaine de la gestion des catastrophes et des secours humanitaires. Sur le site du CERN, j’ai aussi visité les incroyables installations de recherche.

Tout à l’heure, je donnerai la conférence annuelle Sergio Vieira de Mello, qui, cette année, marque le 10e anniversaire de l'attentat tragique de Bagdad. Ce sera un grand honneur pour moi que de rendre hommage à ce grand humanitaire, qui continue de nous inspirer.

Demain, je réunirai au Mont Pèlerin les représentants et envoyés spéciaux qui dirigent 30 missions de maintien de la paix et missions politiques pour discuter des moyens de renforcer l'impact de nos activités.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I met with High Commissioner Pillay of Human Rights earlier today to discuss Syria, Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, among other issues.
On Syria, the situation continues to deteriorate. The number of refugees is rapidly nearing 1 million people. I am very concerned about sectarian violence and spillover effects to neighbouring countries. It is crucial to stop the violence, support Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi and start a political dialogue. I will see Mr. Brahimi tomorrow in Mont Pelerin.

On Mali, I welcome the timely and efficient action by France and others in responding to Mali’s request for help in reversing the gains made by extremists. The Security Council is now discussing the options I presented for peacekeeping. We must also focus on the political steps that are needed, and on the humanitarian situation, which remains dire in Mali and across the Sahel.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, last weekend I was in Addis Ababa with African leaders to sign a new framework agreement that we hope represents a break from past cycles of conflict. But the troubling violence in the eastern DRC in the past couple of days reminds us that this will require strong collective efforts, leadership and political will.

I have travelled to Geneva from Vienna, where I attended the Alliance of Civilizations forum. I welcome the growing support for the efforts of the Alliance to promote tolerance and counter extremism.

While in Vienna I met with the Foreign Minister of Iran, Mr. Ali Akbar Selahi, to discuss Iran’s nuclear programme and other matters. I am encouraged that, at their recent talks in Almaty, the P5+1 and Iran agreed on dates and venues for further meetings soon. The onus remains on Iran to gain the confidence and trust of the international community.

Also in Vienna, I telephoned President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya to express my hope that Monday’s elections will be peaceful and credible. I hope all Kenyans will reject inflammatory rhetoric and violence and respect the independence of the judiciary and electoral bodies. I thank the Kenyan football and rugby players who have worked with UN agencies to speak up in favour of a process that reflects the will of the Kenyan people.

Finally, I continue to press for action on climate change, the Millennium Development Goals, the post-2015 development agenda and empowering the world’s women and young people. Beyond today’s immediate challenges, the United Nations continues to lay the foundations for a sustainable, equitable and peaceful tomorrow.

Thank you. I will be happy to answer your questions.