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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's Remarks at Press Encounter with His Excellency Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council

Brussels, Belgium, 16 April 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
I am pleased to be back in Brussels in the early stage of my second term as Secretary-General. I have congratulated him [Mr. Herman Van Rompuy] for his second mandate. We have just begun our second terms. We have a lot of things to work together on very closely.

I am very grateful to President Van Rompuy for his leadership and strong support on behalf of the European Union to the United Nations.
 
The European Union is a key strategic partner of the United Nations across all the spectrum of the United Nations, starting from peace and security, development and human rights. The European Union is a champion in terms of keeping values and principles on human rights.
 
We had a productive meeting. I stressed the importance of the relationship between the United Nations and the European Union.
 
The United Nations welcomes a strong, strategic and collaborative relationship with the European Union. Working together we can be politically stronger and use our respective resources more effectively.
 
The UN receives first-rate political and financial backing from the European Union for conflict prevention initiatives and for our peacekeeping operations around the world.
 
Indeed, many Europeans are deployed in UN peacekeeping missions in places like Lebanon, Kosovo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to name just three, but there are many other areas and there are many distinguished Europeans working within the United Nations Secretariat.
 
I stressed how our work on conflict prevention and supporting countries in transition has delivered concrete results on the ground in countries like Libya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen and Somalia.
 
During the course of my meetings with President Van Rompuy, President Barroso and High Representative Lady Ashton, we have discussed the situations of mutual concern which have been stated by President Van Rompuy - Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan and South Sudan, Mali, Guinea Bissau, North Korea and Cyprus.
 
I will not repeat what has already been stated very eloquently by President Van Rompuy. I can tell you and confirm you that the European Union and the United Nations are on the same page. We are of the same views and we are mutually committed in working closely in addressing all these regional issues and also global challenges, like sustainable development, including climate change and energy issues and gender empowerment and water and food crisis.
 
We had very good discussions on how the United Nations and the European Union can work together to make Rio+20, Sustainable Development Conference, the most successful. This is a once in a generational opportunity which we can contribute to humanity, the wellbeing and prosperity of humanity and also this planet earth.
 
At the same time, President Van Rompuy has explained to me how the European Union member states have been working together to overcome this current economic and financial crisis. Economic recovery remains an imperative in Europe and around the world. We discussed the ways to ensure that the recovery is sustainable.
 
I sincerely hope that, under the leadership of President Van Rompuy and other members of the European Union, Europe will be able to address and overcome the current economic and financial crisis, which will be mutually beneficial for all around the world.
 
President Van Rompuy, once again thank you for the support and leadership of the European Union and for being such an important partner of the United Nations.
 
I’m looking forward to meeting you again in the near future, starting from the NATO Summit and the G8 Summit meeting.
 
Thank you very much.

Off-the-Cuff on 16 April 2012