Ban pledges continued UN reform to meet changing global conditions

11 September 2008 –

The United Nations has made important progress on internal reform but needs to continue to improve to respond to the rapidly changing world environment, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today, pledging to lead efforts to enhance the way the Organization does business.

“The world is changing around us, and the UN must also change with it,” Mr. Ban told journalists at a press conference at UN Headquarters in New York.

While “we’ve made good progress in many areas, particularly when it comes to management reform,” it was now important to concentrate on the areas where more advances are required, he added.

“We are responsible to the global taxpayers – and to the UN’s thousands of hard-working and dedicated staff members – to create an Organization that is more effective and more modern. That is better able to deal with the world’s problems.”

Mr. Ban’s comments today echoed a theme that a dominated a meeting of top aides held late last month in Turin, Italy, where he stressed that the UN must move more rapidly on reform given that it is being sought out more than ever to solve the world’s most pressing challenges, such as climate change and the soaring prices of many basic foods.

He praised UN staff members, calling them “heroes,” and urged senior officials to get to know their outstanding personnel.

“Looking back on the year, I see encouraging process,” he said in Turin. “We met new challenges in the best UN tradition. We got relief into Myanmar when it was needed. We led the global response to the world food crisis.

“In such crises, we owe a great debt to the UN’s humanitarian workers, who operate in the most difficult conditions.”


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