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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's End-of-Year press conference [Scroll down for Q&A]

New York, 16 December 2015

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. Bonjour, Mesdames et Messieurs,

Let me begin by wishing you all the best for a Happy New Year.  I thank you for all your cooperation and your hard work last year.

We are wrapping up a pivotal year in which the United Nations marked its 70th anniversary and took landmark steps to advance sustainable development and climate change agreement.  

The Paris Agreement on climate change is a sign of hope in troubled times.  It is a triumph for multilateralism that shows the United Nations delivering results the world desperately needs.

President François Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius of France showed inspiring leadership -- including by refusing to be deterred by the terrorist attacks of 13 November.

I thank all the Government leaders, businesspeople and civil society leaders who made this achievement possible.

The Paris Agreement surpassed expectations.  World leaders recognized that we could and must do better than settling for the lowest common denominator.  So they reached higher.  The Paris Agreement gives us Plan A for the planet – A for ambition.

Since my first day in office nine years ago, in 2007, I have pushed very hard for this agreement.  Now, I will press world leaders again to translate promise into practice.

We must also follow through on the other milestones of 2015.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is our overarching guide, crystallized in 17 goals to end poverty and build peaceful societies.

The Addis Ababa Action Agenda adopted in July is our blueprint for financing for development.  Investing in development early will avert crises down the road.

The Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction agreed in March points the way toward resilience.

Taken together, these plans and pacts have set the stage for a future that leaves no one behind.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year we have seen epic flows of refugees and internally displaced people.  As we enter 2016, the world needs to aim for a new global compact on human mobility. Demonizing and scapegoating these people based on their religion, ethnicity or country of origin has no place in the 21st century.

The United Nations has just asked for $20 billion to meet next year’s humanitarian needs -- five times the level of one decade ago.  Donors have been exceedingly generous -- but we will likely enter 2016 with a funding gap of more than $10 billion -- the largest ever.

The World Humanitarian Summit meeting in May 2016 in Istanbul will be a critical moment to address systemic funding problems, and agree on concrete steps to better prepare for and respond to crises.

The world must invest more political energy in preventing and ending conflict, and in addressing violations of human rights – our best early warning signs of greater trouble to follow.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this week, efforts to resolve conflict through diplomacy are front and centre.

In Libya, the parties are close to a desperately needed agreement that would help the country move beyond prolonged crisis.

In Yemen, talks began yesterday in Switzerland towards a lasting cease-fire and a resumption of the political transition.  Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict and we must be doing everything to end the bloodshed and ease their plight.

On Syria, the international community has actively re-engaged in pushing for a political settlement.  The International Syria Support Group will meet in New York on Friday, 18 December, followed by a meeting of the Security Council. Syria is an open sore on the Middle East and the wider world.  We are pressing for a nationwide cease-fire and for the start of negotiations in January on a political transition – and we must not relent.  

Countering the threat posed by Da’esh, Boko Haram, al-Shabab and other terrorist groups is crucial.  Next month, I will present to the Member States of the United Nations a plan of action on preventing violent extremism.  Many of today’s conflicts -- and often, unfortunately, the response to them -- have provided a breeding ground for the spread of terrorism and violent extremism.

I am alarmed by the escalating violence in Burundi.  What we have seen over the past few days is chilling. The country is on the brink of a civil war that risks engulfing the entire region. I have asked Mr. Jamal Benomar, my Special Advisor, to go to the region before the end of this week to speak to the African Union, the countries in the region and, of course, the government of Burundi.  An inclusive political dialogue is needed urgently.  We must do all we can to prevent mass violence and act decisively should it erupt.  

In South Sudan, the United Nations peacekeeping operation continues to shelter more than 185,000 civilians – a major advance in our human protection efforts.  But that is not a permanent solution, and many more remain internally displaced and under threat of violence. I urge the parties to establish the transitional institutions before the end of January.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

These are daunting situations.  I take heart from the political progress and smooth transfers of power over the past year, including in Sri Lanka and Nigeria.

The transition in the Central African Republic is also moving ahead, with the constitutional referendum last week and presidential and legislative elections at the end of this month.

I am encouraged by progress in the negotiations on Cyprus.  A solution to decades of division is within reach.

In the Americas, Colombians are edging closer to the end of the continent’s longest-running conflict.

In Myanmar, the Government and Army are cooperating with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for a stable transition. Continued efforts are needed to begin an inclusive dialogue that brings marginalized ethnic groups into the process.  The United Nations and I personally have supported the process for several years. We will continue to do so.  

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The year 2015 has brought both breakthrough and horror.

The United Nations continues to strengthen itself, including through wide-ranging assessments of peace operations, peacebuilding and our future role and capacities.

Despite the ups and downs, from peace processes to climate talks, we cannot afford to let up.  Too much is at stake.  Millions of people depend on us to keep pressing ahead.

I did not lose faith during the years of ups and downs of climate negotiations.

I continue to believe in the United Nations – and in our staff, many of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice.

I continue to have faith in the ability of the world’s people to come together for the common good -- as was just demonstrated so emphatically in Paris.

With that spirit, we can make 2016 a year of accomplishment and truly build a life of dignity for we the peoples.

Thank you. Merci beaucoup.

Q:  Mr. Secretary… is it working?  Okay.  Mr. Secretary-General, on behalf of the UN Correspondents Association (UNCA), thank you for this end-of-year press conference, and thanks again to you and Madam Ban for attending the UNCA award on Monday night.  My colleagues and I are wishing you and your family happy holidays and happy New Year.  Your press conference is a very important tool for us, and for the 2016, we are asking if the excellent practise of having you in this room for 30 minutes once a month can be reinstated. And finally is my question on North Korea.  A few weeks ago, there was news that you were ready to land in Pyongyang for an historic visit, but suddenly everything was put on hold, and now the preparation for the trip looks almost radioactive.  Could you please tell us what the situation is, if the tip will ever take place?  Thank you.

SG: I have been considering, as I told you that I am ready to provide my role as Secretary-General wherever it may take for peace and stability and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula.  And I have… that condition is unchanged.  It’s still under discussions with the authorities of DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).  I sincerely hope that we will be able to find a mutually convenient date as soon as possible.  And this is what I can tell you at this time.  Recently, there have been some encouraging developments of the situation between the two parts of Korea, including the August agreement and also reunion of separated families.  Unfortunately, this Vice Ministers’ area high-level talks between the two Koreas have not yielded much-expected results.  But we should not be frustrated.  I sincerely hope that the parties will continue to engage in talks so that they can, first of all, expend the political space through dialogue and exchanges and cooperation, so that they can, first of all, build reconciliation between the two parties.  In there, I'm ready to provide any service as the Secretary-General and as one of the citizens coming from Korea.  Thank you.

Q: Thank you, Secretary-General.  Sherwin Bryce-Pease, South African Broadcasting.  Given the escalation that you've spoken about in Burundi, including the attacks that led to almost 100 deaths last Friday, and, in light of the fact that a senior Security Council diplomat has described the situation as a country that is going to hell, would you concede, sir, that your recommendation of a reinforced team to back your Special Adviser is perhaps not an adequate response to the evolving situation on the ground?

SG:  First of all, as I said, I'm extremely concerned about the continuing violence, the violence between Government armed forces and unknown armed elements.  These are very chilling.  And I have asked, as I said, to Jamal Benomar to go right away to the region to engage in dialogue.  Even during the climate change negotiations, I have been reaching out to leaders in the region.  I've been constantly speaking to the leaders.  I sincerely hope that, first of all, Government of Burundi, President [Pierre] Nkurunziza, will engage in inclusive dialogue to address this issue.  And I'm asking, again, African Union and the East African Community and the facilitators mandated by East African Community, President [Yoweri] Museveni of Uganda, will continue to render their political leadership to facilitate a dialogue.  Mr. Jamal Benomar will continuously engage himself.  And at this time, I appeal to all national stakeholders to uphold the rule of law, human rights, and I urge authorities to help create the conditions for credible and inclusive dialogue.  Those are preconditions for political dialogue.

As for the options of which I recommended to the Security Council, of course, there are different options.  At this time, I am encouraged that President Nkurunziza had met Mr. Benomar, my Special Adviser, and [will] continuously be available for consultation.  I'm going to discuss this matter again this afternoon with Security Council members.  We will take necessary actions as we observe and watch the situation, how it evolves.  Depending upon the evolution of the situation, we may have to level up our presence and our activities.

Q:  Yes, Mr. Secretary-General, on the Vienna process, please, if you don't mind, could you kindly explain to us that ceasefire arrangement and what do you have in mind, given that the area where Da’esh controls, they have civilians there.  What are you going to do about the collateral damage of so many civilians?  And the foreign fighters that… for example, Iran's militias in Syria, are they going to be part of that ceasefire?  And, you know, again, the same thing with the regime and the barrel bombs obviously, but where do you stand on whether Bashar al-Assad should stay or go, and if he goes, when?

SG:  The first part of the question, you've been following all this situation.  I'm looking forward to this third International Syria Support Group, ISSG, meeting, in New York on Friday.  And I and my Special Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, will participate.  I'm also looking forward to meeting many ministers who will be participating on the margins of this meeting.  What is important at this time, as was agreed through Vienna 1 and 2 process, it's important that we should have a nationwide ceasefire as soon as possible.  Of course, there are certain areas controlled more by ISIS.  But as much as we can, we should expend this area to be covered by a ceasefire as wide as possible.

For that [to be] possible, Staffan de Mistura, will engage in intra-Syrian talks as soon as possible.  Then we can have some political… expand the political space.  It is absolutely necessary that, first of all, we should have this ceasefire, nationwide ceasefire.  That will help us, not only the political process, also United Nations and other humanitarian agencies to deliver humanitarian assistance to many, many people who are desperately in need of such help.  There are 13 million people, at least 13 million people, except these more than 4 million refugees, they are in need of, desperately, the humanitarian assistance.

Q:  Can you answer that question on Iran, please, and Assad?

SG:  The second question, I think this issue has been discussed many times in the past.  Basically, in principle, it's up to the Syrian people who should make a decision about the future of President Assad.  But at the same time, I also believe that it is unacceptable that the whole Syrian crisis and solution to this crisis has to be depending upon just a question of fate of one man, that's not acceptable.  But that's why people have been discussing this matter all the time, but I leave it to the parties concerned to discuss this matter again in parallel, try to find out political space as well as delivering humanitarian assistance.  In transition, in the course of transition, there may be… some people are now… some countries are now expressing some nuanced positions that there may be some role or need for President Assad to stay just a limited… a limited month, but that will have to be decided later on.

Q:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  You still have one year in your term as Secretary-General, and your legacy is going to be connected somehow to the failures of the international community in Syria.  And you have said repeatedly that Assad has lost legitimacy.  Can you say it one more time?  And can you tell us: what role can Iran play in solving the situation in Syria, in Lebanon, and in the region?  Thank you.

SG:  The continuing Syrian crisis during last five years has created a lot of troubles and unexpected issues, as we have seen.  It has affected a lot of situations in neighbouring countries, including Lebanon.  Another issue is the spread of terrorism and ISIL.  This lack of good governance and the continuing tragedy and the complete despair among the people has made the perfect breeding ground for extremists and terrorists to set their roots in there.  Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that we first address these political issues.  That is kind of some root causes, how to address the root causes.  And we have to also take necessary actions to defeat and counter extremism and terrorism.  So our challenges have become much more difficult, wider, the space of our challenges have become much wider.  That is why it's crucially important that we bring, as early as possible, the end of this crisis. 

Q:  Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary-General.  You talked in the beginning about the need for a new Global Compact to address the issue of migration, refugees, and basically intolerance against religious, ethnic minorities.  Could you tell us what this compact would look like, what role the United Nations is going to play, who it should involve, and what it should say and do?

SG:  This massive flow of migrants and refugees into Europe and other areas in Asia and elsewhere have surfaced as more than regional issues.  It has become a global issue.  I appreciate European Union, particularly, leaders who have been engaging to find out some more structured framework to address this issue.  But it has gone beyond European Union, and there is some divisions, very serious divisions among the countries concerned.  That is why I believe that it has become a global issue, and that's why United Nations should address this issue in close consultation with the Member States. 

This year, in September, 30 September, I have convened a high-level meeting here.  But I have proposed to the Member States of the UN that I'm going to convene a summit meeting just one day before the general debates.  That will be 19 September.  I'm aware that there's emerging concerns as to support my initiative, my proposal.  There, I'd like to discuss with the world leaders and try to have a sort of Global Compact for responsibility sharing. 

Of course, for detailed matters, we have to prepare in close consultation, we may have regional consultations in the course of several months.  To address migration and refugee issues, I have laid out some roadmap.  First of all, on 4 February in London, we are going to convene the high-level, summit-level conference on Syria, particularly to address the refugee issues and humanitarian support.  Of course, we can discuss some other issues, too, including migration.  And this conference is cosponsored by United Kingdom, Norway, and Kuwait and Germany and United Nations.  We have already extended invitation cosigned by the leaders of these four countries and myself.

In March, in Switzerland, I have asked High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, newly-appointed High Commissioner to convene a high-level meeting to discuss on “resettlement plus”. 

Then, in May, we have world humanitarian summit meeting in Istanbul in Turkey on the margins… I think we can also discuss this matter as a part of this humanitarian support.

Then, in September, we are going to have a summit meeting on migration issues.  I understand that President of General Assembly also has an idea of convening, on his initiative, sometime in July a high-level meeting on migration issues.  So there will be a continuing commitment and continuing consultation in the international community to address this issue at a global level.

Q:  Follow-up question on Syria, Secretary-General.  You used the words "as soon as possible" a short time ago about the ceasefire and about the face-to-face talks.  The stated communiqué from Vienna said the beginning of January.  Given that's only a couple weeks away, does that now seem a bit too ambitious?  And going forward, on the time frame, how long do you think transition should be?  And if there's a need for elections at the end of transition, would the UN organize them?

SG:  The Vienna 2 conference has issued their own agreement, saying that we will try to have this nationwide ceasefire [in] January.  Then we have an 18-month timeline to have political transition.  Some people may think that this may be too ambitious, but one needs to be ambitious.  We do not have much time to lose… to waste even a single minute, and therefore, it's absolutely necessary that we have highest-level possible ambition.  And I think we have to do all that we can.

Q:  Since you are entering your final year as Secretary-General, and there's already a race to inherit your position, will you address, first of all, rumours or reports that you plan to run for President of South Korea?

SG:  Can you just speak louder?

Q: Sure.  Will you address reports that you're planning to run for President of South Korea?  And also, will you pledge, for planning purposes for those who would be your successor, that you will serve out the remainder of your term?

SG:  I think you are not first one to have asked me that question.  [Laughter] I have been repeatedly stated during last couple of years that, as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, I have a full agenda.  I remain focussed on, and during coming one year during my time, until the very last day of next year, I will focus all my time and energy to do my job as the Secretary-General. Thank you.

Q:  Thank you, Stéphane.   Yes.  Thank you, Secretary-General.  Yesterday, the President of the General Assembly and President of the Security Council have sent a letter to the Member States to present their candidate for the next… for your successor for the next Secretary-General.  Could you tell us your thought on this unprecedented procedure to… 

SG: Can you just speak a little louder?

Q: Excuse me, yeah….  [Cross talk]  Could you tell us your thought on this unprecedented procedure to choose the next Secretary-General?  And also, if you have any message to these candidates.  Thank you.

SG:  I have seen that letter, and it was expected, in fact, because Member States have been actively discussing this issue, how to make selection process of my successor more transparent.  I think it is a good initiative, as far as I believe, and I think there is a widely-shared consensus that this is a good initiative.  I'd like to see that, with this letter, I hope Member States will expedite their process to select the next Secretary-General as soon as possible [in] a very transparent manner.  That's my wish.

Q:  Mr. Secretary-General, tomorrow, the UN is going to be releasing the Deschamps report that you asked concerning allegations of sexual abuse in Central African Republic.  And you've spoken very forcefully about the need to clean up peacekeeping and misconduct by peacekeepers.  I'm just wondering if you feel that, over the months, you've made progress following your repeated appeals for changes on this.

SG:  I'm looking forward to meeting Judge Marie Deschamps, who will hand over her findings as the chair of this panel of inquiry commission.  And after having received it, I'll take necessary action, including making it public.  But, more importantly, we will review the contents of this report and take necessary action to make it much more clearly committed that all the UN staff, whether in the headquarters or in the field, must be much more committed to protect and respect human rights, including prohibiting… preventing sexual violence.

Q:  Thank you, Stéphane.  And Mr. Secretary-General, I want to raise Afghanistan, an issue which was missing on your opening statement.  You have been a strong advocate and supporter of Afghan-led peace process, peace and reconciliation process, but this process made a promising beginning in July but has collapsed and situation in Afghanistan has sharply deteriorated.  Sir, even the Unite… on top of this, the United States has resumed fighting Taliban, according to "The New York Times."  In this situation, what are your thoughts how this process can be resumed and what… how can you help?  

SG:  People in Afghanistan have suffered too long a time, many decades.  The peace and stability have been always unstable, and many countries have involved and tried to support stability and peace in Afghanistan.  With the new leadership, President Ashraf Ghani and I… I have been taking note that he has been engaging with the leaders in the region, particularly with Pakistan.  I sincerely hope that with whole international community's support and goodwill to support Afghanistan, the people and Government, so that they will be able to maintain peace and stability through their own domestic reconciliation and plans, and also there's many international conferences have been held, like, for example, compact, which have been providing international economy and social support.  At the same time, it is important to have good cooperation with the neighbouring countries, particularly in addressing terrorism and extremist attacks against Afghanistan.  And United Nations, UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) will continue to play an important role.

Q:  Thank you, Stéphane.  Mr. Secretary-General, thank you.  On Syria, the issue of terrorism has been on the agenda of pretty much every country dealing with Syria.  Some… for example, some countries deal with moderates, claiming they're terrorists, but there's the threat of ISIS.  Have you spoken to the sides, especially the Russians and the Americans, about choosing the terrorists instead of opposition and uniting their forces in fight against terrorism?  Have you spoken to them?  What do you recommend to them?  Thank you.

SG:  Countering terrorism and extremism has surfaced and emerged as one of the top, most serious issues, which we have to deal with.  In that regard, I really appreciate many countries participating in coalitions, and their contribution is very important.  At the same time, I have been asking them to observe strictly the international humanitarian and international human rights laws to protect… not to [cause] the civilian casualties.  In other aspect, we have to also address the root causes enhancing, improving, good governance of the leaders of the concerned countries and listening very seriously to the voices and aspirations of their own people through inclusive dialogue.  There are some countries who are lacking such capacities, particularly; therefore, United Nations through this Counter-Terrorism Centre is really trying to provide capacity-building support as much as we can, and that is why I'm trying to present as soon as possible during the month of January the Comprehensive Plan of Action to counter extremism and terrorism. 

When it comes to Syria, there are many armed groups.  There are many armed groups.  And I understand that, through this process of Vienna… Vienna process, they are trying to define and exactly find out who are the terrorist groups, who are the armed groups.  I understand that the Jordanian Government has been mandated to take this mission.  This issue will be a continuing subject now.  And I also appreciate that Syrian… Saudi Arabia has convened a meeting last week among the Syrian armed groups.  I sincerely hope that there should be some unity of purpose among the parties concerned so that we can more effectively address this challenge of countering terrorism.

Q:  Thank you, Stéphane.  Thank you, Secretary-General.  Mentioning about the Middle East and Saudi Arabia, just two days ago, there was an alliance formed between 34 countries from the Arab and Islamic world in Saudi Arabia.  What's your view of this new coalition forming, and how effective it's going to be in addressing holistically the causes and the counter-terrorism measures that needed to be implemented on the ground?  And do you see it as duplication for existing coalitions led by the United States, or it can be working… merged together at one point?

SG:  I read that report that Saudi Arabia has initiated to form a Muslim country-led coalition.  As you know, this coalition led by Western countries, including Russia, they have been operating the military operations to fight against this terrorism, and I sincerely hope that when there is a coalition formed, I think that they should very closely coordinate with other countries who are already participating in coalitions.  As I again said, it's very important when they stage military operations, there should be extreme care and efforts not to harm any civilian population and civilian facilities.  And this is fundamental principle of international human rights and humanitarian law.

Q:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General.  I was wondering why, in your introductory remarks, you did not mention Palestine and the conflict there.  An average of two Palestinians are killed a day.  Today the Israeli Government announced building 800 new settlement units.  And Gaza's under siege for the last eight years.  Gaza is a humanitarian catastrophe, as you know.  And yet you didn't find the time in your introductory remarks to mention what's going on there.  Why is that?  Thank you.

SG:  I'm very concerned that we have not seen much progress, even deterioration of the situation in the Middle East.  As you may remember, I was in the region during October to discuss this matter with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders.  It's important that, even though this situation might be very much challenging, the leaders should have shown their high level of commitment and ambition, even political ambition, to address all these pending issues, I think six-, seven-decade-long issues, to bring some… at least a small sense of hope to people who have been suffering.  And when it comes to settlement, I have been repeatedly, consistently made the United Nations' position that it is illegal in accordance with international law.

Q:  Thank you, Secretary-General.  On the fight against ISIS, there was some hope that this common enemy could unite the countries, also provide some grounds for progress in Syria.  But now there seems to be some disagreements, some more disagreements, for example, between Turkey on one side, Russia and Iraq on the other side.  How could you personally push for these countries to unite and for more coordination between the states fighting ISIS?  Thank you.

SG:  Again, I have been urging the parties concerned, countries concerned, who are involved in this process to, first of all, coordinate among themselves and try to respect the human rights and humanitarian law.  And about providing some support to different groups, you can find answer from my consistent… United Nations’ consistent position that there should be very close coordination and cooperation among the parties concerned.  And often, we have seen some conflict, unfortunately, between and among the countries who are working for the same purpose.  There should be unity of purpose and collaboration.  And if and when there is any division of positions between and among the countries who are engaging in counter-terrorism, counter-extremism, I think they should really show their commitment, first of all, [to] de-escalate the tensions between and among themselves and [be] united.  And I've been also urging the Syrian armed groups… there are many such different armed groups, who are working for one purpose.  Then when you are divided, when you have a division of positions, then it will be more difficult to achieve goals.

Q:  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General.  As you mentioned, the world is dealing with several crises at a time, and I was wondering if you see any link between all these crises and the entailing consequences, such as refugee crisis and terrorism?  And if so, do you think there is a possibility of finding a solution for one of these crises without regarding the others?  Thank you.

SG:  I think you have raised a hugely big question.  [Laughter]  Having served as the Secretary-General during last nine years, one lesson or observation which I have drawn is that, in this world, nothing is operating in isolation.  So everything is tightly interconnected.  Whether it is migration or terrorism or peace and development, human rights, I think they all work in a very tightly connected [way].  So we can find some causes of certain issues which are tightly connected.

One root cause would be abject poverty, lack of good governance.  When there is a complete despair among the people, when there is a complete disregard by the leaders on the wishes and aspirations of the people, then people try to find other ways to address their own difficulties and concerns and sufferings.  Nobody wants to suffer from any reason, whether it is poverty, disease, or abuse of authorities or abuse of power.  That's why I've been always asking that good governance and inclusive dialogue and addressing abject poverty, those are the answers. 

We can find answers when you just trace back the root causes and drivers of all these foreign terrorist fighters.  Then some of… one or two or three factors have driven them to flee, to migrate, or to become radical or to become very radical forces.  And, therefore, we have to address all this in sync, in close coordination.  That is why, even though we are living in this world of peril, but I think world leaders have provided some good sense of promise and hope.  These are Sustainable Development Goals, 17 goals, and climate change agreement.  If we implement these Sustainable Development Goals, including climate change, I think we can expect that most of the people will be able to live in a much better, much more stable situation and much more prosperity.  And that's what the United Nations is aiming to achieve, and we have laid good foundations this year.  The year 2015, I believe that will be recorded as one of the most important historic years in the history of the United Nations, where we have laid out all good foundations.

Q:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General.  Tomorrow the UN Security Council takes up terrorist financing and the draft resolution which will have the finance ministers attending calls on your office, on the Secretary-General, to provide a report in 30 days and, in particular, to define and report on recruitment of ISIL and the sources of terrorist financing.  How does your office expect to do that, to speak with intelligence agencies?  And do you believe that that will unite countries in trying to tap down on terrorist financing?  Thank you.

SG:  I'm very much encouraged by the fact that the Security Council is going to take a landmark decision in preventing financial flows to the terrorists and extremists.  This is very important sign of demonstrating their leadership for unity of purpose in addressing terrorist and extremists.  Unfortunately, they have been receiving a lot of funds without much difficulty, particularly Islamic State, they have… according to reports, they have a lot of money available in there.  And they pay for their own people living… controlled under their influence.  Therefore, it’s very important that we have to do whatever is required to cut off all this source of financial support to these people.  I think that is one of the ways, very effective in addressing this issue.  And I'm looking forward to my own participation tomorrow.

Q:  Yes.  Thank you.  Sir, what are your views on Iran's testing of ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons?  And in particular, do such actions give you concern as to Iran's good faith going forward in complying with the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action)?  Thank you.

SG:  Iran and all the powers, P5+1, they have made a very good agreement.  Therefore, I would expect that the Iranian Government will continue to implement in accordance with this agreement and in accordance with all relevant Security Council resolutions.  And I think that is the best way for Iran, first of all, to achieve what they have set out.  And I'm sure that, based on this agreement, the international community is going to work together with the Iranian Government.  Thank you.