On 5 January, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited with staff at UN DESA. Giving brief remarks, the Secretary-General stressed the importance of DESA’s work and its significant role in promoting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and sustainable development. Mr. Ban also praised DESA’s commitment to the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20.
Hundreds of DESA staff gathered to greet the Secretary-General, only four days into his second term as head of the United Nations. He was welcomed by DESA’s Assistant Secretary-Generals Jomo Kwame Sundaramm and Thomas Stelzer, who congratulated him on his second term and conveyed sincere thanks for his continued support for the department.
The Secretary-General underscored that sustainable development will be a “top priority” during the coming five years. He also emphasized the fact that the organization is working for all of humanity, and specifically for people around the world who need and count on the support of the United Nations.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also expressed his gratitude for DESA’s Under-Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of Rio+20, Sha Zukang, and to all of DESA’s staff, who have shown strong dedication to making Rio+20 a success.
Finally, Mr. Ban also touched upon the challenges of budget cuts that the UN is facing and the need to modernize the way the organization works. A formal presentation on these issues will be made before the General Assembly on 25 January.