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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Remarks made by Secretary-General Kofi Annan upon leaving Security Council session on Cote d'Ivoire

New York, 15 November 2004

Q: What is the future of the relationship between the United States and the United Nations given the departure of Secretary of State Colin Powell?

SG: I've worked very well with Secretary of State Powell. We've worked on a whole range of international issues, from the Quartet to Iraq, to Côte d'Ivoire, to Haiti. I've always appreciated his wisdom and his approach to these issues, and I think I speak for most of the foreign ministers and leaders around the world who worked with him and always found him very pleasant even if he holds his firm positions. He was always very good to deal with, and I think he's made many friends who I hope will all stay in touch with him, and I wish him every success in his future endeavors.

Q: What about the relationship, though, between the UN and the US? He's been your good friend, he's probably been your only friend in that Administration, your best friend.

SG: I hope he's not the only one. [laughs] But I think the relationship is important, the US is important for the UN, and I hope the UN is also important for them. And it is when the US and the UN work together that we really have an effective impact on the issues that we are dealing with. So I am looking forward to a constructive and collaborative relationship with the Administration and the next Secretary of State, whoever he or she would be. Thank you very much.

[He later added about Secretary of State Powell, “He's a wonderful human being and a great diplomat.”]