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New York, 3 April 2012


Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media.

Thank you for being here today for this Mid-Term press conference.

We are half-way through my Presidency of the General Assembly.

Over the past six months, you have seen a General Assembly that has been very active, responsive and relevant in addressing many of the key global issues of concern to all of us.

With just six more months remaining in this session, we are redoubling our efforts to achieve success on all the remaining issues on our agenda.

Today, I wish to share with you brief highlights of some major events that are keeping us busy.

And I would also like to draw attention to a few key upcoming events.

Just this morning I addressed an important interactive dialogue on Human Trafficking.

Trafficking is a serious problem.

It is estimated that 2.5 million people are trapped in this criminal activity.

The majority are women, children and migrants.

There is the urgent need for the international community to work more closely together to end human trafficking.

Most importantly, we must be doing more to prevent anyone – especially women and children –falling victim to human trafficking.

We are also busy with Security Council Reform.

Just this past weekend, I organised a two-day retreat on this matter.

The overall objective was to re-energise the discussions and contribute to the work of the Intergovernmental Negotiations.

It is important that reform be a Member State driven process, and one that clearly generates the broadest possible acceptance by Member States.


Now Syria …

We remain deeply concerned about the situation in Syria.

Just yesterday, I spoke with the Joint Special Envoy of the UN and the Arab League, Mr. Kofi Annan.

I have asked Mr. Annan to brief the General Assembly.

We have all heard the new date of April 10th when the Syrian government must cease all troop movements; cease the use of heavy weapons against its own citizens; and also pull out troops from populated areas.

The world is watching.

Sadly we are still getting reports of Syrian citizens being killed by their own government every day.

The violence and the killings must stop immediately.

The Syrian government must now cooperate fully with Mr. Annan and his team, for the sake of the Syrian people.

The government’s opponents must also cooperate with Mr. Annan and his team.

Now, looking ahead over the next six months …

We have a number of major events on my agenda and on the agenda of the General Assembly.

But – for the sake of time – I wish to highlight just a few:

Just nine days from now, on 12 April, we will be hosting an important high-level meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction.

The outcome will be a President’s Summary that will contribute to the Rio+20 process.

The world – our planet - needs success in Rio.

Then in May, I will co-chair a High Level Thematic Debate on the State of the World Economy, with Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon.

This will be a two-day event on the 17th and 18th of May.

It will offer an opportunity for Member States, international organizations, representatives of the private sector and civil society to have a discussion, at the highest possible level.

We will examine the challenges and opportunities presented by the global economy in this time of change.

The discussions are intended to contribute to the international efforts to secure a sustained, inclusive and equitable recovery of the world economy.

Then, on 23rd May, I will convene an informal high- level meeting of the General Assembly on “The Role of Member States in Mediation”.

We expect Presidents and Prime Ministers, as well as Foreign Ministers and some of the most prominent international mediators to participate.

We aim to draw deeply from the experiences and knowledge of Member States, so we can deal more effectively with regional and international conflicts.

And then during last week of May, I will be convening a retreat on preparations for Rio+20.

This meeting is important in getting all Member States on board to ensure success for the Rio+20 Summit in June.

Thank you for your attention.

Now I am ready to take your questions …