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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General Remarks at Joint Press Conference with His Excellency Mr. Mongi Hamdi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia [Scroll down for Bilingual Version]

Tunis, Tunisia , 10 October 2014

Good afternoon,

I am happy to be back in Tunisia.

I thank the Tunisian Government and people for their warm welcome.

I have come to show the UN’s solidarity with this important country at a critical time in the history of Tunisia and the region.

The United Nations has been proud to support the Tunisian people in the democratic transition. I am here to discuss how we can do more to advance this process.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I just had a very productive meeting with Foreign Minister Hamdi. I applauded Tunisia’s progress. We discussed the situation in Libya.  I thanked Tunisia for its contributions to United Nations peace operations. And I reiterated the UN’s support to Tunisia’s transition process.

I also held talks earlier today with President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki.

And I had a very good meeting with the President of the National Constituent Assembly, Mustapha Ben Jaafar, along with a number of the Heads of the Committees.

I will have a number of other important contacts during my visit.

I especially look forward to speaking with members of civil society. I will have a dialogue tomorrow with representatives of non-governmental organizations, professional and social associations, political parties, journalists, academics, cyber-activists and young people who have helped to create the “new Tunisia”.

Since my last official visit to Tunisia in 2011, you have accomplished a great deal in the democratic transition process. I commend the Government and people for your impressive achievements, including the adoption of the Constitution earlier this year.  

The upcoming presidential and legislative elections will be a crucial step for Tunisia’s future. These elections can be held in an inclusive, transparent and peaceful environment. I hope for the highest possible level of participation.

Tunisia’s progress shows the region and the world what is possible. You offer hope that serious political challenges can be overcome. You prove the power of pursuing dialogue. And you demonstrate the value of consensual politics.

This is promising ground to build on. There are still many challenges ahead. Tunisia needs to create new economic opportunities, advance social justice, promote human rights, secure gender equality and counter terrorism. You deserve international support as you solidify progress.

Many of Tunisia’s challenges will need to be addressed by the next President, government and legislature.

The Constitution approved in January is a great basis for a strong democracy and a useful tool to face challenges.

The creation of independent institutions on elections, transitional justice, anticorruption and human rights will consolidate Tunisia’s democratic gains over recent years. These institutions must be supported – and their independence must be protected.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring – and the first country to harvest the fruits of democracy.

The UN has been among those supporting the Tunisian people in their transition from the very beginning – and we will remain at your side.

We will continue standing by Tunisia as it builds its democracy, improves its economy, and strengthens its institutions – for the sake of this country, the region and our world.

Thank you.

 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
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REMARKS AT JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE WITH HIS EXCELLENCY MR. MONGI HAMDI, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF TUNISIA
Tunis, 10 October 2014
[As prepared for Delivery]

Bonjour,

Je suis heureux d’être de retour en Tunisie.

Je remercie le Gouvernement et le peuple tunisiens de leur accueil chaleureux.

Je suis ici pour témoigner de la solidarité de l’Organisation des Nations Unies avec la Tunisie au moment où cet important pays se trouve, comme le reste de la région, à un tournant de son histoire.

L’Organisation des Nations Unies s’honore d’avoir soutenu le peuple tunisien pendant la transition démocratique. Mon voyage doit servir à envisager les mesures à prendre pour aller plus avant.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I just had a very productive meeting with Foreign Minister Hamdi. I applauded Tunisia’s progress. We discussed the situation in Libya.  I thanked Tunisia for its contributions to United Nations peace operations. And I reiterated the UN’s support to Tunisia’s transition process.

I also held talks earlier today with President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki.

And I had a very good meeting with the President of the National Constituent Assembly, Mustapha Ben Jaafar, along with a number of the Heads of the Committees.

I will have a number of other important contacts during my visit.

I especially look forward to speaking with members of civil society. I will have a dialogue tomorrow with representatives of non-governmental organizations, professional and social associations, political parties, journalists, academics, cyber-activists and young people who have helped to create the “new Tunisia”.

Since my last official visit to Tunisia in 2011, you have accomplished a great deal in the democratic transition process. I commend the Government and people for your impressive achievements, including the adoption of the Constitution earlier this year.  

The upcoming presidential and legislative elections will be a crucial step for Tunisia’s future. These elections can be held in an inclusive, transparent and peaceful environment. I hope for the highest possible level of participation.

Tunisia’s progress shows the region and the world what is possible. You offer hope that serious political challenges can be overcome. You prove the power of pursuing dialogue. And you demonstrate the value of consensual politics.

This is promising ground to build on. There are still many challenges ahead. Tunisia needs to create new economic opportunities, advance social justice, promote human rights, secure gender equality and counter terrorism. You deserve international support as you solidify progress.

Many of Tunisia’s challenges will need to be addressed by the next President, government and legislature.

The Constitution approved in January is a great basis for a strong democracy and a useful tool to face challenges.

The creation of independent institutions on elections, transitional justice, anticorruption and human rights will consolidate Tunisia’s democratic gains over recent years. These institutions must be supported – and their independence must be protected.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring – and the first country to harvest the fruits of democracy.

The UN has been among those supporting the Tunisian people in their transition from the very beginning – and we will remain at your side.

We will continue standing by Tunisia as it builds its democracy, improves its economy, and strengthens its institutions – for the sake of this country, the region and our world.

Thank you.


Off-the-Cuff on 10 October 2014