United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon travelled to Washington, D.C., on Thursday, 11 April, on a one-day visit, meeting with United States President Barack Obama in the White House.
The Secretary-General and the President had a discussion concerning many issues of mutual concern for the United Nations and the United States Government, including the conflict in Syria, the nuclear weapons programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Middle East peace process and climate change.
After their meeting, President Obama and the Secretary-General spoke to reporters.
The Secretary-General said he continued to be troubled by the crisis in Syria. He noted that the United Nations has been working to provide humanitarian assistance, and he expressed appreciation for the United States Government’s very generous support for such humanitarian assistance.
The Secretary-General said that it is regrettable that the Syrian Government had rejected his recent offer to look into allegations about the use of chemical weapons, adding that a technical mission was set up under his authority, in accordance with General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.
He urged the authorities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to refrain from any further provocative measures and rhetoric. Regarding that nation, the Secretary-General highly commended President Obama’s “firm, principled, but measured response”, in close consultation with the Republic of Korea Government and with the strong engagement of neighbouring countries like China.
The Secretary-General also voiced his appreciation of President Obama’s initiative on the Middle East and his recent visit to the region. He pledged to work to fully utilize the momentum generated by President Obama’s visit so that the two-State solution can be successfully implemented as soon as possible.
On climate change, the Secretary-General said that he intends to work closely with the Member States so that a legally-binding global treaty can be achieved by the end of 2015.
Following his meeting with President Obama, the Secretary-General visited the World Bank, where he met with President Jim Yong Kim. They discussed the meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) taking place in Washington the following week, which the Secretary-General would also attend.
The Secretary-General returned to New York later in the day.