Secretary-General's press encounter following Security Council luncheon
New York, 19 April 2005Q: There was a printed statement on the new Pope, but I wondered if I could get just a reaction to a new Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger.
SG: I'm happy that they have elected a new Pope, and I recall being at St Peter's Square when he officiated the mass for the late Pope [unintelligible] but I think he is a man of great experience who has worked very closely with the late Pope and I hope will be able to make the same spiritual contribution.
Q: What are you going to do about the fact that Maurice Strong both served as your representative to Korea and also had business with a Korean businessman?
SG: Mr. Strong has issued a statement and is also in touch with the Volcker Commission and has also indicated he will cooperate with anyone who's looking into this. I've told you what I need to say.
Q: Now were you going to do anything about keeping him on as your Special Envoy to North Korea?
SG: The allegations have just come out, and he has no plan to go to the region tomorrow. So we need to sort of – Look, he's not a full-time staff member. It's “as and when employed” on a required basis.
Q: Are you going to bring China and Japan together in Jakarta? How are you going to solve that dispute?
SG: I will see the leaders individually but I would encourage them to meet, to discuss their differences on this issue. Both of them will be there, and I think it offers an opportunity, and hopefully, they will take advantage of it.
Q: What do you think of “The Interpreter?” Have you screened the new movie yet?
SG: I think you should all go and see it.
Q: I've seen it.
SG: Ah, okay then.
Q: But what do you think? Does it do justice to the UN? Or could the plot have been a little better? Weak ending? What do you think?
SG: Well, I think the intention was really to do something dignified, something that is honest and reflects the work that this Organization does. And it is with that spirit that the producers and the directors approached their work, and I hope you will all agree they have done that.
Q: Did Sidney Pollack achieve what he wanted to?
SG: Well, what do you think?
Q: I haven't seen the movie!
Off-the-Cuff on 19 April 2005