Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's remarks before meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

New York, 12 March 2010

[US Secretary of State Clinton],

It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the United Nations in this temporary new building. I have been watching your inspiring speech again. I thank you very much and I really appreciate your leadership and commitment for gender empowerment.

I know that you led the US delegation 15 years ago to the Beijing Conference on Women. You have been the leading embodiment of women's empowerment. We appreciate that all your life you have been standing strong, steady and committed to women's empowerment. All your life you have been speaking out for the central truth that women are the key to all our hopes – development, peace, and a better world, and you have been during all your life working very hard to make a more just, equitable world, where women are equally treated and given equal opportunities.

I do appreciate this. That is why you have been a great reason why that Beijing Conference was a landmark. I am sure that we will work together.

As far as this women's empowerment is concerned, as Secretary-General I have been taking this as a priority issue and I will continue to do that.

If I may say about Haiti, I'd like to again sincerely appreciate your very generous support, humanitarian support. President Obama, yourself and your government have taken such great humanitarian responsibility. The US military has provided a very important breathing space for the UN and MINUSTAH to work properly in delivering humanitarian aid.

I am going to visit Haiti this Sunday again to discuss with President Preval and Prime Minister Bellerive in preparing for a successful international donor's conference, which you and I will co-convene and co-chair. And I again very much appreciate this.

Finally let me say about the Middle East peace process. I really appreciate your leadership to enable this Middle East peace process to resume through indirect proximity talks and I'm looking forward to participating in the Quartet meeting together with you in Moscow.

I hope this Moscow Quartet will provide a very important opportunity for us to work together for the peace process eventually leading to direct negotiations. I count on your leadership.

Thank you very much.