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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's remarks to the press on return from his trip to Canada for the G20 meeting

New York, 28 June 2010

Good morning.

I have just addressed the High Level Segment of the Economic and Social Council.

And I just returned from the G-20 meeting in Toronto last evening.

At both occasions, I emphasized the need to build the global economic recovery from the ground up.

We are all concerned about rising budget deficits and public debt.

But we cannot balance budgets on the backs of the world's poorest people. We cannot abandon our commitment to the most vulnerable

That is the message I delivered in Toronto, loud and clear.

As the G20 Summit Declaration stated, we must keep a strong focus on the longer term. And I quote: “Narrowing the development gap and reducing poverty are integral to our broader objective of achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth.”

We have a tremendous opportunity to save lives and deliver results ? not only for the most vulnerable, but for all of us. We need to make the most of it: To generate truly global growth, we need truly global investment.

In Toronto, I focused on three areas of investment that can yield high and immediate returns:

First, we must invest in jobs.

Initiatives jump-started by the UN, such as the Global Jobs Pact and investments in agriculture, will have an enormous multiplier effect on growth and prosperity.

Second, we must invest in a green recovery.

Specifically, this year we must make concrete progress on delivering the $30 billion in fast-start funding for mitigation and adaptation efforts of developing countries.

Third, we must invest in health and health systems.

I welcome the leadership and new commitments of the G8 and developing countries on women's and children's health.

I also welcome the broad support for the Joint Action Plan for Women's and Children's Health.

I am encouraged that in, all these areas, leaders showed a growing unity of purpose. But of course, we must do more.

I am especially encouraged by the strong expressions of support for our MDG agenda and the MDG Summit in September.

While G-20 discussions about the financial crisis and financial reform continued to reveal some differences of opinion, I applaud all of the efforts to narrow the differences.

This will need to be intensified in the coming months in the run-up to the Seoul G20 Summit later this year

Later today, I depart for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon, my third trip to Africa this month,

In the DRC, I will take part in events to mark the fiftieth anniversary of independence, to express the solidarity of the international community with the Congolese people.

In Gabon, I will address parliament, meet civil society leaders, and highlight efforts to that Gabon is taking to make real progress on the MDGs.

My visits to Africa have reinforced my conviction that Africa can indeed meet the MDGs, with the right investment in tools to create jobs and generate incomes.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Finally, a few words on Kyrgyzstan.

My Special Representative, Miroslav Jenca, has reported on the results of yesterday's referendum.

I am encouraged by the level of voter turnout and that it took place in an orderly manner, without the difficulties seen in recent weeks. This clearly demonstrates the aspiration of the people of Kyrgyzstan for peace and stability.

The adoption of a new Constitution is an important step toward promoting the rule of law and establishing a legitimate, democratically elected government. The United Nations will continue to support Kyrgyzstan and its people as they prepare for parliamentary elections later this year.

We recognize that the situation remains fragile and we will continue to monitor developments closely, together with the key concerned parties in the region and in the world.

Thank you.

Q: Secretary-General, certainly in your bilateral meetings with the leaders of the G20 and the G8, you probably came across the situation in the Middle East, especially in Jerusalem. And if a war breaks out in the Middle East, it will be certainly be a big impediment to any progress with regard to your MDGs. How did you discuss the situation, especially in the light of the demolition of more houses in Jerusalem and the whole situation in the Middle East and the threat to peace there?

SG: I had some opportunities of engaging with some key leaders, including the European Union and other key leaders. The situation in the Middle East is always a key concern of the international community and myself, and we discussed, in depth, how to help and encourage continuing proximity talks and how to bring more fundamental changes in the Gaza blockade. And, also I informed the leaders that my proposal for the investigation on the flotilla raid is still on the table. And it is, at this time, important that these proximity talks continue, and we really do not even think about any scenario of this situation in the Middle East rushing into a more violent or dangerous situation as you suggest - this is not our scenario. And I understand that Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu is coming to the United States to meet with President [Barack] Obama early next month. I hope this will also provide a good opportunity for the two leaders to discuss, more in-depth, how to bring peace in the Middle East.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, how do you interpret the Iranian President's call to resume nuclear talks in August?

SG: Even with the Security Council's resolution adopted on other sanctions, the door is still open for a negotiated settlement. And I discussed this again with the Presidency of the European Union and the European Council, encouraging them to continue these negotiations in the format of the E3 plus 3, and I will continue to urge the leaders of the world, the concerned parties to continue their negotiations for an eventual resolution of this issue.

Q: Thank you, Secretary-General. As we come up to the six-month anniversary of Haitian earthquake, we see that many people are still living in makeshift camps. Very little of the $5 billion in aid that was pledged has actually been given, and very, very few of the reconstruction projects have actually kicked into gear. Whose fault is the slow progress in Haiti? Is it the Haitian Government? Is it the UN? Is it the donors?

SG: I'm aware of the current situation of delivering aid to many needy people in Haiti. I'm concerned that this delivery of aid programme has not been moving as expeditiously as we had planned. But, as you know, this Interim Commission for Haitian Reconstruction, co-chaired by President [Bill] Clinton and Prime Minister [Jean-Max] Bellerive of Haiti, has been formally launched and they had their first meeting where all the key parties, including United Nations, have taken part and they some decisions. They have moved the most vulnerable group of people to safer places. But, of course, as the rainy season has already started, we are concerned that there are more people to be re-settled into a safer place - that is what we are doing. As far as the political situation is concerned, we are very closely discussing this matter with President [René] Préval on how to ensure the elections [take place] which are scheduled in November. All in all, President Clinton and myself, and all United Nations agencies and key donors who are participating in the Interim Commission for Haitian Reconstruction are very closely working together. We will try to expedite this process and I've been trying to talk to President Clinton – I think he's travelling. I will try to discuss this matter with him.

Thank you very much.