Ban Ki-moon's speeches


Speech to the High-Level Segment of the 15th Non-Aligned Movement Summit

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Sharm El Sheikh (Egypt), 15 July 2009

Your Excellency, President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak,

Your Excellency, President Raul Castro,

Distinguished heads of State and Government,

Honourable ministers, Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am extremely honoured to join you for this important Summit. President Mubarak has shown great international leadership over the years. I congratulate him on assuming the chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement and look forward to working closely with you all to address the critical issues on our shared agenda.

I also pay tribute to Cuba, in particular President Castro, for its energetic and effective leadership of this Movement over the past three years.

Former Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser, who helped shape this Movement, once observed that the NAM "is based on ideals [which] should be its searchlight in the quest for truth."

This is as true today as when he said it almost half a century ago.

The Non-Aligned Movement was born at a tumultuous time. Many countries were struggling under the yoke of colonialism. And the arms race threatened the planet as never before.

Conditions have drastically changed, but the world again faces complex crises threatening development and security. At this critical time, we need to look to the Non-Aligned Movement's founding principles to address today's challenges.

It is abundantly clear that no country, regardless of size or resources, can solve problems alone. That raises the stakes and the space for the Non-Aligned Movement to shape a better world. Now more than ever, your engagement is very vital to achieving global solutions to our common problems.

The Non-Aligned Movement's commitment to peace naturally led it to place high value on a world free of weapons of mass destruction.

All countries should recognize that disarmament contributes to development – and that both are critical to peace.

There has been some encouraging progress. With the support of many Non-Aligned countries, the Conference on Disarmament broke its twelve-year impasse. Preparations for the review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are gaining momentum. I count on your active engagement to ensure that the 2010 NPT Review Conference reaches a successful conclusion. We cannot afford to repeat the failure of the 2005 Review Conference. We must achieve our vision of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

In a five-point proposal I put forward last year, I called for all parties to fulfill their obligations under the NPT. And I outlined other measures aimed at achieving non-proliferation and disarmament, including a resumption of bilateral negotiations between the United States and the Russian Federation for deep and verifiable reductions in their arsenals.

I welcome the fact that the leaders of both countries have committed to reducing their strategic warheads and delivery vehicles.

But the challenges remain immense if we are ever to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.

It is not only weapons of mass destruction that demand a concerted international response. Conventional arms continue to destabilize our world. Small arms and light weapons are overwhelmingly the weapon of choice in violent conflicts.

I count on the Non-Aligned countries to honour your founding principles and continue fighting for global disarmament.

Excellencies,

The NAM's longstanding commitment to development and social justice also resonates today as the world faces a severe economic and financial crisis.

All countries are feeling the effects, but some developing countries are suffering most, including millions of people living in the NAM States, particularly those emerging from conflict. The impact will likely be even graver in the future.

There are worrying signs of rising economic nationalism. Industrial subsidies, tariff increases and other protectionist measures will only undermine global economic growth.

We must counter this trend. Truly free and fair trade is crucial to stimulating recovery and spurring growth.

The United Nations is advocating a balanced, equitable and development-oriented outcome of the Doha Round. This will help us advance toward the Millennium Development Goals.

With these important Goals in mind, I will convene an MDG Summit in 2010. In the meantime, I am continuously urging developed countries to help the world's poor.

At the last G-20 meeting, I called for a $1 trillion global stimulus to achieve international economic progress, especially for developing countries. I thanked the G-20 for agreeing on a package totaling $1.1 trillion.

This is only a beginning. I am continuing to push for more concrete action.

Last week, I pressed the Group of Eight leaders to deliver on their development commitments. I welcomed their decision to mobilize $20 billion in response to the global food crisis.

I have called on developed countries to help developing countries adapt to climate change while reducing their own emissions. I stressed that this funding must come on top of existing aid pledges.

We must all join forces to seal a deal at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. After the G-8 meeting, I frankly said the outcome was welcome but not sufficient, and I pointed out that business as usual is no longer viable.

I am convening a Climate Change Summit on 22 September at UN Headquarters. We need to mobilize the political momentum for an equitable and effective deal. Your participation is vital - I count on you to attend.

Ultimately, these efforts can help move the global economy in a greener, more sustainable direction and improve food security and energy access for the poor. And that can bring us closer to the more equitable world that NAM has always envisioned.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In Havana three years ago, you reaffirmed that all disputes should be settled peacefully.

The United Nations is working to strengthen our capacity for mediation. We work hand-in-hand with regional organizations to prevent crises from becoming full-scale conflicts.

We look forward to collaborating more closely with the Non-Aligned countries, which have developed strong expertise in preventing conflicts.

Non-Aligned countries also contribute the majority of troops and police to UN operations. You have also suffered the most casualties. I am deeply grateful for your support and pay tribute to your sacrifice.

To move forward, we need a renewed Peacekeeping Partnership between contributing countries, the Security Council and the Secretariat. We need an agreed set of goals allowing us to ensure that peacekeeping has the necessary political direction, planning, management, resources and capacity to continue to serve as a global peace and security instrument.

We can only succeed by working with the national authorities. This is especially true in countries where we have a peacebuilding mandate.

Peacekeeping and peacebuilding lie on a continuum, and we must examine them holistically. The United Nations is now presenting its “New Horizons” peacekeeping review as well as a peacebuilding report for your consideration. We do not just want to debate ideas we must agree on an operational strategy that yields results.

With UN engagement at an all-time high, we need even more troops and police. But we also need your guidance. So I appeal to you to give more – not only "boots on the ground" but leadership and ideas.

Excellencies,

Justice and peace are mutually reinforcing. The United Nations is working to ensure accountability under international humanitarian and human rights law. Your Havana summit rightly condemned genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and systematic and gross violations of human rights. I appeal to you to put this principle into practice by fully supporting credible national and international judicial bodies set up to prosecute and punish these crimes.

Since the end of the Cold War, the developing world has seen much progress in transitions from authoritarian rule to democratic government.

But recently in countries from Africa to Latin America, we have witnessed coups and other non-constitutional changes in government. These actions damage not just those directly affected but global stability and prosperity. We should work together to ensure return to constitutional order where coups take place, while addressing their root institutional causes. Most importantly, we should encourage dialogue and reforms to prevent coups. I note the strong stand of regional organizations such as the African Union and the Organization of American States against any unconstitutional regime change.

Wherever conflicts rage, we must work harder for peace, always focused on helping the most vulnerable.

This is true for Somalia. We cannot fail the people there. Somalis must be at the forefront of resolving their conflict, but neighbouring countries, the region and the broader international community must do more to help. We must give resources to the Transitional Federal Government and AMISOM and stop the insurgency.

We must also continue the search for peace in the Middle East. The viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one that ends the occupation and results in two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. At the recent meetings I attended in Trieste, the Quartet and the League of Arab States agreed on the need for a prompt resumption of negotiations and underscored the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative.

We must urgently work to end closure and alleviate the suffering in Gaza through a durable solution based on Security Council Resolution 1860 and a halt to violence by both sides. Palestinian reconciliation and unity are also essential, and I appreciate Egypt's constructive engagement in this matter.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For decades, you have supported the aims of the Charter and the work of the United Nations. And you have also provided constructive advice.

The Non-Aligned Movement has pointed to disparities in UN structures and power dynamics. You have made detailed recommendations that would broaden representation and improve transparency and democracy. And you have been clear on the need for Security Council reform. I strongly agree that the Security Council's membership and working methods should reflect today's political and economic realities, not those of more than half a century ago.

At the same time, the economic crisis has revealed the need to improve the international financial architecture, so we may see the developing world and emerging powers gain more of a say in that realm. That would be a welcome step towards realizing the NAM''s longstanding goal of making the international system more fair and balanced.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At your last summit, leaders pledged to promote and reinforce multilateralism and strengthen the UN''s central role in this arena.

The wisdom of this stance is clear. Only the United Nations can galvanize the kind of global action we need to overcome hunger, poverty, climate change, threats to peace and the world's many other interlinked challenges. With the support of the Non-Aligned Movement, we can create the equitable, peaceful and prosperous world that the Movement's founders envisioned, for the sake of all people.

Thank you.