Secretary-General's press encounter following meeting with Tunisian Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi
Tunis, Tunisia, 22 March 2011SG: Bonjour, medames et messieurs. Bonjour, salaam aleikum et merci beaucoup.
Let me say in English that this morning, I have had good and very constructive meetings with the President and Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
As you know, the basic purpose of my visit is to express my solidarity to the great Tunisian people who have achieved this very peaceful revolution towards fuller democracy and genuine democracy. And I am deeply honoured to visit Tunisia at this time, at this very historic moment when all the Tunisian people are working hard to build upon what they have achieved recently through the Jasmine Revolution.
This revolution came from the streets, from the common people, from young people, men and women. This is quite an admirable achievement. I believe that this Tunisian model has been impacting the countries across the region.
The United Nations is ready to provide all support to the Tunisian Government and people, particularly in the area of the electoral process and constitution drafting and helping the Tunisian Government to restore the rule of law and promote human rights, promote gender equality – those are important principles of the United Nations Charter on which I have been working very closely with Member States.
I am very much impressed by what the leaders have told me. They are committed, and I was also impressed with my meetings with the political party leaders. I am going to engage myself with the youth groups and civil society.
I am here to listen and hear what their aspirations are, what their challenges are, how the United Nations, together with the international community, can help the Tunisian people to achieve and make progress toward genuine and fuller and more participatory democracy. And I send my admiration and best wishes to the continued success of the Tunisian Government and people. Thank you very much.
Off-the-Cuff on 22 March 2011