Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Opening remarks at joint press conference with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Afghanistan

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Port of Spain (Trinidad & Tobago), 28 November 2009

Thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister,

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to stand together with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, with whom I have been working very closely on all the challenges and issues of world affairs and I really appreciate and commend highly the leadership of Prime Minister Gordon Brown. We have discussed many issues, particularly Climate Change. I really appreciate your leadership again on Climate Change.

This morning's discussion with the Prime Minister was focussed much more on Afghanistan, which continues to be among the issues topping the world agenda, our discussion with Prime Minister Brown was very focused and productive.

We talked about some immediate next steps with regard to the post-electoral environment in Afghanistan following the inauguration of President Karzai for a second term in office.

The UN looks forward to working with President Karzai and his Government to achieve his stated commitments in a timely and concrete manner.

I also informed the Prime Minister about my most recent telephone conversation with President Karzai before I arrived here in which President Karzai expressed his agreement with the London conference proposed by Prime Minister Brown and to be followed shortly by another international event in Kabul.

At this point, I wish to make a formal statement regarding this international conference on Afghanistan.

The proposal to host an international conference on Afghanistan on 28 January 2010 in London is a very timely initiative to allow for the holding of a high level dialogue on the post-electoral agenda in Afghanistan as outlined by President Karzai in his inaugural speech on 19 November 2009.

In this regard I appreciate Prime Minister Gordon Brown's initiative. I also appreciate President Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Merkel of Germany for their joint initiative. President Karzai's agenda also had a detailed work programme for the new Afghan Government. The London Conference as well as a further high level Conference to be convened in Kabul, Afghanistan, within a few months thereafter, would outline the framework for an increased lead role for the Afghans in the shaping of their destiny.

These conferences would thus constitute defining moments in the reconfiguration of the relationship between Afghanistan and the international community.

I would like to reiterate my strong support for this high level dialogue and underline the readiness of the United Nations to contribute to the success of these conferences.

Thank you very much.