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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's remarks at press encounter with H.E. Mr. Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament

Brussels, Belgium, 3 April 2014

SG: Thank you, Mr. President of the European Parliament. It is a great honour and pleasure to have this opportunity of discussing on global issues, starting from some regional conflict issues and development issues.

I always have deep respect for Parliaments, for the European Parliament, for their continuing commitment and leadership and vision, not only for addressing peace and security matters, but also addressing human rights and humanitarian assistance and development issues – sustainable development issues.

This morning, as President Martin Schulz just said, we covered several important and serious regional issues like the situations in Ukraine, and Syria and the Central African Republic and other places, and also we had some time to discuss climate change and sustainable development.

In a sense, more important for humanity, we of course should address these regional conflict issues. That is what I am urging world leaders, and particularly the concerned parties to sit down together and discuss all these issues harmoniously.

At the same time, once you [take into account] development issues and human rights issues and humanitarian assistance, the European Union is the largest of the donor countries, most generous countries. Forty percent of the United Nations budget, and forty percent of all donor contributions and development assistance and humanitarian assistance come from the European Union and I am deeply grateful for such commitment and vision and leadership.

All these mandates come from Parliament. I know that we can continuously count on the European Union Parliament under the leadership of President of Martin Schultz.

As you know, I participated in two important international conferences - one was the International Conference on the Prevention of Genocide, and another one was until today the European Union and Africa Summit meeting; that was the fourth summit meeting.

I had a series of meetings with African and European leaders on how we can work together to [make] this world more harmonious, more prosperous, and a place which is sustainable, where everybody’s human dignity can be respected.

I thank you very much for this opportunity, Mr. President.