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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's press encounter with H.E. Mr. Elio Di Rupo. Prime Minister of Belgium

Brussels, Belgium, 1 April 2014

Mesdames et Messieurs,

Je suis heureux d’être de nouveau à Bruxelles. Je remercie le Premier Ministre ainsi que le Gouvernement et le peuple belges pour leur accueil chaleureux.

J’exprime ma profonde reconnaissance à la Belgique pour les contributions considérables qu’elle apporte à l’Organisation des Nations Unies et sa ferme détermination à promouvoir nos objectifs en matière de paix, de développement et de droits de l’homme. J’apprécie tout particulièrement l’intérêt qu’elle porte à la prévention des conflits, au maintien de la paix et à sa consolidation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I thanked the Prime Minister for this engagement. We exchanged views on a number of pressing crises and global concerns which the Prime Minister has just explained.

On Ukraine, we agreed on the urgent need for a political solution – and the value of ongoing efforts to de-escalate tensions, support dialogue and monitor developments.

We also discussed the humanitarian and political situation in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in Burundi. I appreciate Belgium’s support for the Government and other Burundian stakeholders in resolving all differences peacefully and ensuring a level playing field for next year’s elections, and I really appreciate the Belgian Government’s strong commitment and engagement and support for peace, development and cooperation in the DRC and Great Lakes region.

On Syria, I thanked Belgium for its generous contributions to our humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people. The Prime Minister and I discussed the conflict and follow-up to the Geneva II Conference.

We exchanged views on climate change, which we both agree demands urgent action. I have invited the Prime Minister to a climate summit I am going to convene on September 23rd at the United Nations to pave the way for an ambitious, legal climate agreement by 2015.

Prime Minister di Rupo agreed on the need to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and prepare the post-2015 development agenda – sustainable development. We need a concise, ambitious set of sustainable development goals supported by a renewed global partnership.

I am confident that Belgium will continue to show leadership at this critical time, and I also thanked him for his leadership in convening the International Conference on the Prevention of Genocide marking the twentieth anniversary of Rwanda’s genocide.

This meeting was a great success, not only a success in itself where more than 120 countries were represented with high level ministerial participation, but it has raised the attention and awareness of the importance of preventing further  mass atrocities and genocide. We have promised never again, never again. But we should make it really our words with our deeds.

Thank you very much. Merci.


Off-the-Cuff on 1 April 2014