Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Opening remarks at joint press conference with President Tarja Halonen of Finland

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Helsinki (Finland), 26 May 2009

Thank you very much Madam President. Distinguished members of the media.

Hyvää huomenta!

It's a great pleasure and honor for me to visit this beautiful country, Finland, in my capacity as Secretary General. As you may remember, I was here as a candidate, and I'm glad to be back as Secretary-General. And I'm very much grateful for all the support and commitment from the Finnish Government, and particularly from the leadership of President Halonen, on all major objectives and projects of the United Nations. I appreciate President Halonen for such a generous contribution to many development projects. You are at least contributing 15 times more than your regular portion. This is extraordinary and I ask President Halonen if - the only thing I can say is that - I would welcome it if you can do more.

We had very good discussions, covering many points on the agendas - regional and global issues - in a very limited time. As the President has just introduced, we discussed how we can be successful in the coming UN Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiation in Copenhagen in Denmark. And recently I launched a slogan – a 'Seal the Deal' slogan - and this is what we are now wearing. I thank you Madam President for your strong support and for wearing this badge – 'Seal the Deal.' I hope you will be in Denmark and participate in this 'Seal the Deal' campaign - your help would be very important.

We have discussed the situation in Sri Lanka, where I visited just prior to coming to Finland. We discussed, most importantly and seriously, the situation in DPRK over this nuclear test by DPRK. We discussed the situation in Sudan and Chad, and many other areas.

Let me briefly touch on this North Korean nuclear test. I strongly deplored, in my statement, the nuclear test by DPRK, in flagrant violation of Security Council Resolution 1718 from 2006. The Security Council, as you are fully aware, took a very decisive measure yesterday by issuing a press statement strongly condemning [it]. Most importantly, they have a way to immediately start to take further measures corresponding to the gravity of this situation. I welcome and join many other world leaders in condemning this violation of the Security Council resolution by DPRK. Again, I wish to take this opportunity to [request the] authorities of DPRK to refrain from taking any further measures, which will deteriorate the situation, which will create tensions in the region, which will pose negative implications for the ongoing international community's efforts to curb nuclear non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, as well nuclear disarmament talks which are now going on between the United States and the Russian Federation. They should faithfully fulfill all the commitments they have made to the international community as a member of the United Nations.

There are many areas which we have covered, the situation in Georgia and Kosovo, and Somalia. We agreed that the situation in Somalia is also a social concern. As I have stated in my report to the Security Council on a three phase approach. First, by strengthening the position of the African Union Mission in Somalia [AMISOM} and also increasing the United Nations role in Somalia, as well as considering the eventual deployment of a proper UN peacekeeping operation, under the right conditions. We also discussed how we can ensure a more effective operation and enable support in the fight against these piracy acts on the seas of Somalia.

And again, in view of the time limit, I will stop here and will be happy to receive your questions. Thank you very much Madame President for this wonderful hospitality for me and my delegation. Thank you.