New York, 18 May 2010 - Secretary-General's remarks to Seminar on Reporting on Global Security and Terrorism [as prepared for delivery]Good morning. I understand that my staff did not tell you that I would be coming to this seminar? Perhaps they took the theme of global security a little too seriously?
Thank you for everything you do to explain these difficult and complex matters to the world. Your questions are an important part of accountability and transparency, and I welcome them.
Global security covers an enormous set of issues; let me talk briefly about some of them.
First, international terrorism.
? We understand this threat first-hand; we ourselves have been attacked (Iraq, Algeria, Kabul).
? We also understand the dangers of turning societies into battlegrounds. We urge every country and society to show tolerance and openness, and to resolve disagreements through dialogue.
? The Alliance of Civilizations is one way in which the UN puts these principles into practice. I will be attending the AoC forum in Rio next week.
Second, dealing with fragile states.
? Somalia has been in chaos for nearly twenty years. Three million Somalis need humanitarian aid. We have seen a resurgence of piracy; there are fears that Somalia could provide fertile ground for terrorists.
? The United Nations does not give up. We are holding a conference on Somalia in Istanbul later this week. We are helping to increase security at sea and bring the pirates to justice. We are supporting the Transitional Federal Government, which is committed to peace and reconciliation. The path is hard, but we are making progress, however slowly.
? Our strategy for fragile states is helping them to get back on their feet – repeatedly, if necessary.
Third, nuclear issues.
? We welcome President Obama's stated desire for a nuclear weapon free world. I attended the recent conference on nuclear security in Washington, and the United Nations fully supports efforts towards a Counter-Terrorism Convention. Together with the historic summit at the Security Council last year and the new START Treaty between Russia and the US, momentum is building.
? But challenges remain, including the slow pace of reduction in nuclear stockpiles, proliferation and concerns over non-compliance, and nuclear terrorism.
? We are hosting talks right now on the NPT here at the United Nations, and I am hopeful that we can achieve progress. I have urged the States parties to start negotiations on a Convention on Fissile Materials, and to think seriously about an alternative mechanism and a timetable for bringing the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty into force.
? With respect to Iran's nuclear programme: I appreciate the diplomatic initiative of President Lula of Brazil and Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey on the supply of nuclear fuels for Tehran Research Reactor. Enhanced transparency and openness is the key to resolving the outstanding concerns on Iran's nuclear programmes. In this regard, the agreement could be a positive step in building confidence about Iran's nuclear programmes if followed by broader engagement with the IAEA and the international community. I understand that the IAEA has received yesterday the text of the Joint Declaration which was signed by Iran, Turkey and Brazil in Tehran on 17 May 2010. The Agency is now expecting a written notification from Iran that it agrees with the relevant provisions included in the Declaration. I look forward to an assessment by the IAEA on the substantive elements of the declaration.
? I take this opportunity to urge once again that Iran comply fully with the relevant Security Council resolutions and provide cooperation to the IAEA to the fullest extent to resolve all the outstanding concerns over its nuclear programmes.
Fourth, a broader definition of security.
? On my recent visit to Central Asia, I saw first-hand the potential dangers of a regional dispute over sharing water. This is a sign of things to come, as we deal with the effects of climate change and shortages of natural resources.
? The UN has opened a Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia, which we hope will help to resolve that particular crisis.
? Our policies for poverty reduction, sustainable development, health and education for all, gender equality and women's empowerment are embodied in the MDGs. We believe these hold the key to improving global security from the ground up. Healthy, productive people make healthy, productive societies, who resolve their problems through peaceful diplomacy rather than terrorism or war.
Statements on 18 May 2010