Secretary-General's press encounter on return to his office following press conference on sustainable energy
New York, 1 November 2011Q: [inaudible] Bank of America is considered number one taking off the tops of mountains to take out coal, and has been protested for that. So on October 13th I asked here, what do you think of taking off the top of mountains for coal, and why is the guy [Charles Holliday] co-Chairman of the Group [High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All]?
SG: His record is quite clear, in the area of development, and particularly on energy issues. He is the Chairman of the World Council for Sustainable Development. He was CEO of Dupont where Dupont set an exemplary record in terms of energy. I have been, we have been working with him quite a long time. That is why he is nominated as Co-Chair of this group. I am sure that he will lead this sustainable energy group very well.
Q: Do you think Washington can find a way around this [UNESCO] financing business?
SG: I hope they will. I hope they will. I have discussed this matter with Secretary Clinton and all senior government officials.
Q: As a follow up to this question, do you think this is political intimidation, political punishment and a way of intimidating the United Nations? Why the United States, [inaudible] UNESCO take its positions regarding the Palestinians?
SG: I don't think the United States Government intends or intended to do that. But as I understand it, even President Obama, he doesn't have any room, because Congress has adopted this law, a long time ago – 1990 and 1994 - so we have to realise all this situation. I don't think it is a policy of the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government supports the Middle East peace process, the U.S. Government supports Palestine, and I understand they support all this socio-economic and educational support for the Palestinian people. It is not their policy as I understand it.
Off-the-Cuff on 1 November 2011