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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's press encounter following his remarks to the General Assembly on the adoption of resolutions on the work of the Secretariat in peace operations and disarmament

New York, 15 March 2007

SG: First of all, I am very much encouraged by the strong support rendered by the General Assembly on my two reform proposals. It was a good beginning for me in the early stage of my tenure, and this has shown a good example of the Secretariat and Member States working together for the reform process of the United Nations. With the adoption of these two framework resolutions on reforms of disarmament and peacekeeping operations, I am confident that we can work together to make this Organization much more efficient and effective in managing the peace and security of the international community. I am committed to working very closely with the Member States and I shall make necessary preparations in accordance with resolutions on realigning the Peacekeeping Operations Department, as well as Disarmament. And I thank the President of the General Assembly and the four facilitators for having shown distinguished cooperation and support in enabling these resolutions to be adopted by consensus. Thank you very much.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, what did you learn from this process, about how to manage the General Assembly and get things through – and that there are some things that you sort of learn the hard way?

SG: The consultation process has sometimes been difficult and, through this very transparent process of consultation, I think we have been able to understand much better - and greater understanding was formed between the Secretariat and the Member States. One of my priorities is to restore trust and mutual confidence between Member States and the Secretariat?... And, through these very transparent consultations, I think I am also committed to continue my job as Secretary-General in a very transparent and cooperative manner with the Member States.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, where does the Security Council reform stand from your point of view – are they going to move forward, or are they going to stay at the status quo for 60 years or so?

SG: Security Council reform measures are one of the most important and sensitive issues of our Organization. Considering the dramatic changes in political scenes, it is necessary that the Security Council be expanded and reformed. The question is how and in what manner it should be reformed. The Member States have been discussing this matter for over 10 years, but unfortunately they have not been able to find a singular formula which will enjoy the broadest consensus opinion. As the Secretary-General, I am going to facilitate this ongoing process, so that the Security Council can be reformed in a most representative and democratic manner.

Q: How often did you actually meet the facilitators for the Security Council reform – did you talk to them and what is the impact of their ?..?

SG: Even this year, the Member States have discussed the Security Council reform and this has been an on-going effort among the Member States and between the Secretary-General and Member States.

Q: Serge Brammertz - has he given to you the names of the countries which are not cooperating with his investigation? When are you going to reveal that?

SG: I had a good discussion with Mr. Brammertz and I was told that he was able to receive good cooperation from all the countries which were mentioned previously.

Q: Egypt is boiling with a big story that 1,000 prisoners of war of Egypt were massacred by the Israeli forces some time ago - and Egypt is really boiling with that story - what is your opinion, do you think that there should be an investigation regarding that?

SG: I am not aware of that specific question – I will look at this case and, if I have anything, I will get back to you later.

Q: Secretary-General, do you think it will be ages for the Security Council to hear President Ahmadinejad before they adopt a resolution on Iran, as far as the diplomacy on Iran?

SG: I heard that report, and I am sure you also heard the President of the Security Council responding to that question. It is up to the Security Council members, in consultation with the Iranian Government. All Member States, and particularly when the agenda item is concerning a Member State, it should have a right to participate in any deliberations of any organization of the United Nations.

Q: Inaudible question about the resolutions adopted in the General Assembly today and what is the next step for UN reform?

SG: I am very much encouraged by the full confidence bestowed on me by the General Assembly. This consensus adoption of two framework resolutions on very important areas of management structure reforms is a clear sign that Member States have given me full confidence and trust in my leadership. And with this, I can continue my remaining reform measures.

Thank you very much.


Off-the-Cuff on 15 March 2007