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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Press encounter following visit to United States Peace Corps Headquarters

Washington, DC, USA, 12 October 2007

Q: Your response to this morning's announcement?on the Nobel Peace Prize?

SG: I am delighted at the news that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 has been awarded to former Vice-President Mr. Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This is clearly a recognition of the international community in general, and by the Nobel Committee in particular, of the urgency and significance of this global warming phenomenon of the international community. This says there is an unprecedented momentum in the world to take necessary action, and I pay my tribute to Mr. Al Gore as a good example of how civil society and individuals can make a difference in raising the awareness of this important global challenge. I also pay tribute to and commend the work of the IPCC and its co-sponsors, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meterological Organization (WMO), for their lucid and well-documented findings to alert the world to this urgent challenge of global warming. I sincerely hope that the United Nations and the world community can work together to generate already-created political will by the international community to address this issue. I was encouraged to convene the high-level meeting of the United Nations on September 24. Mr. Al Gore made a good presentation on this. There was huge support at the level of international community leaders; eighty Heads of State and Government participated. They sent out a very clear focused and credible message to negotiators to the Bali meeting in December that this issue must be taken as the highest priority with the participation of all industrialized countries and developing countries. Both groups should play their own role to address this issue. This is a global challenge that requires global action. As the Secretary-General, I will continuously be engaged in this fight, addressing this global warming issue.

Q: I understand that Ambassador [Ibrahim] Gambari may be going back to Myanmar immediately?

SG: I have discussed this matter and I have instructed him to first visit the region to discuss with the leaders to create the necessary political atmosphere so that he'll be able to visit Myanmar sooner than mid-November. He's going to visit India, China, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia. And there he will of course consult with the leaders. And we are expediting the process and will continuously be engaged in bringing [about] democratization of the Myanmar situation.