Secretary-General's Press Encounter following his meeting with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown (unofficial transcript)
London, 13 June 2008SG: Thank you very much, Mr Prime Minister, for your warm welcome and your hospitality. I have just had a good discussion with Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Among other things, we discussed the High-Level Event that I will convene, together with the President of the General Assembly, on 25 September, to push forward in implementing the Millennium Development Goals. As you are already aware, we are in the mid-point year of implementing the MDGs by 2015. I am sincerely grateful for the efforts that Prime Minister Gordon Brown has taken, including galvanizing the political role and mobilizing the necessary resources to make this MDG High-Level Event a success.
We also spoke about climate change, as part of my discussions with world leaders as we continue to explore ways to help the ongoing negotiations move forward, so that we will be able to have an agreement in 2009 replacing the Kyoto Protocol. I am impressed by the Prime Minister's commitment to make substantial progress in dealing with this serious concern. And we both share the commitment to do all we can to help ensure that rising food costs will not create a catastrophe for all those around the world who already find it hard to get enough to eat.
I am aware that a number of you are interested in the proposal that I sent to the Security Council yesterday on Kosovo. I also discussed these proposals with Prime Minister Brown today, as well as with other key stakeholders while I was in Paris yesterday.
I am well aware that this package may not fully satisfy all sides. Yet it is my honest belief, after considerable time discussing this issue with all concerned parties, that what I have proposed will prove to be the least objectionable course to all, and can offer us a way forward. My aim has been to pursue a modus Vivendi that is acceptable to the parties and would be supported by the key international stakeholders; I sincerely believe that this package achieves that goal.
In our discussions this morning, the Prime Minister and I also talked about a number of issues around the world, from Zimbabwe and Sudan to Myanmar and the Middle East. Since the Prime Minister has explained about all that we have discussed, I will not go into detail. But if I may something more about Zimbabwe. When I had a meeting with President [Robert] Mugabe last week in Rome, I emphasized the importance of ensuring that there would be no further violence, and that this forthcoming Presidential run-off election should be held in a most transparent and fair and convincing and credible way, and I urged him to take all necessary measures to ensure that. And I also urged him that humanitarian assistance should be allowed to be delivered [inaudible].
As always, I am happy with the strong support the United Nations has been receiving and will receive from the Government of the United Kingdom, and from Prime Minister Gordon Brown particularly, and am very much happy to have the opportunity of having very intense discussions with the Prime Minister this morning. I am also very much honoured personally to have an opportunity to have an audience with Her Majesty the Queen today. I'll be pleased to take some questions now.
Q: Can I ask you both about the energy crisis? On the summit, we've gone off expecting a short-term increase in production, so what can we actually expect from Governments today to ease fuel prices? [The reporter also asked a separate question to Prime Minister Brown]
SG: The rise in oil prices is a serious concern to all in the international community, since it affects the full spectrum of our lives. As Prime Minister Gordon Brown has just said, the Saudi King is going to host a meeting inviting all the oil producers and consumers. I hope we will have a good discussion on this matter. And I am going to have a meeting with the King of Saudi Arabia tomorrow evening in Jeddah, and I will also discuss this matter. This has impacted particularly the value of food prices. We have discussed this issue last week in Rome. We need to address and then cope with rising food prices as well as rising oil prices, because, unless we properly manage these issues, this may create a cascade of all other challenges and prices, affecting not only social and economic but also creating political instability. Therefore I would urge the leaders of the world, particularly consumers and oil producers, to address this issue properly, and I count on Prime Minister Gordon Brown.