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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's press encounter following his meeting with Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu of Romania

Bucharest, Romania, 2 April 2008

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, boni ziua.

It is a great pleasure and honour for me to visit your beautiful and dynamic country, Romania, in my capacity as Secretary-General. This is my first visit as Secretary-General, but my second visit personally. I hope this will be the beginning of many visits in the future.

I am pleased to be here in this country on the occasion of the NATO summit meeting, to observe in person the tremendous social and economic progress, as well as political stability, [achieved] during just a very short period of time.

Romania is a strong supporter of the United Nations, and I am very grateful for the generous support and active participation of Romania in all activities of the United Nations, starting with peacekeeping operations; you have been sending your people to Kosovo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti and many other places. I hope such strong support will continue.

In a very short period of time, Romania has transformed itself to be a donor country, from an aid beneficiary in the past. You have been providing to at least 15 United Nations funds, programmes and agencies in various activities, and actively participating in realizing the targets of the Millennium Development Goals. This is very encouraging. This a sterling example of countries which can show examples to many countries in transition. I can count on your continued support and cooperation in the future.

With the Prime Minister, we have discussed various issues of mutual interest and concern, starting with the situation in Afghanistan, and Kosovo, the Millennium Development Goals, regional offices and fighting against crime. I am also grateful for the kind gesture to allow shelter to refugees. This is an ongoing discussion, and I hope we will be able to agree soon on this matter.

All in all, I am very much grateful to your Prime Minister's leadership, and I congratulate him again for this successful convening of the NATO summit. I wish you all the best and great success at this meeting. Thank you very much.