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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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Bali, Indonesia, 29 August 2014 - Secretary-General's remarks at Joint Press Conference in Bali, Indonesia [as delivered]

Thank you, President Yudhoyono, for your remarks and for your warm welcome to the beautiful island of Bali.  I am also pleased to be here with the High Representative, Ambassador Al Nasser.

Allow me to begin with a few words on the situation in Ukraine, which the President and I have discussed.

Yesterday, the Security Council met due to a further dangerous escalation of the crisis in Ukraine. The meeting in Minsk between President Putin and President Poroshenko, as well as a round of multilateral talks, have quickly been overshadowed by alarming new reports of intensified fighting in south-eastern Ukraine.

I am particularly concerned about the situation on and around the border between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. This remains a key obstacle to the de-escalation of the situation on the ground, as arms and heavy weaponry reportedly continue to flow unabated into Ukraine from Russia. There is an urgent need to ensure a secure border between the two countries, with international verification, as discussed in the Minsk talks.

It is also critical that the elections scheduled for 26 October can take place throughout Ukraine and become a unifying and reconciliatory mechanism that will ensure that people throughout the country feel represented in Kiev.

We cannot allow the situation to escalate further nor can we allow a continuation of the violence and destruction that the conflict has wrought in eastern Ukraine.

All must do their part to contribute to the peaceful resolution of this conflict in a manner upholding Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

I remain personally fully committed to doing my part. We have to redouble our efforts to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. Lives are at stake. Peace in Ukraine means peace in the region and beyond.

We just had a very successful opening session of the Sixth Global Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations. I am confident that this Forum, under the leadership of President Yudhoyono, will lay the foundation for the Alliance’s progress in the future. I applaud High Representative Nassir Abdulaziz Al Nasser for his leadership.

We meet at a time when extremism poses a grave threat.

Promoting tolerance as well as inter-religious and cross-cultural dialogue has never been more important. I thank His Excellency President Yudhoyono for hosting this Forum and for his active engagement with the United Nations.

I am deeply grateful to Indonesia for its strong support. Indonesia makes major contributions to UN peacekeeping operations. I am grateful to the nearly 1,700 Indonesians serving in some of our toughest missions.

Peacekeeping [carries] dangerous risk. At this time, I would like to say a few words about this very alarming situation of our peacekeepers in the Golan Heights.

I strongly condemn the detention of forty-three Fijian peacekeepers from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the area of separation in the Golan – and I call for their immediate and unconditional release, as well as action for the scores of peacekeepers from the Philippines who are also affected. 

These courageous peacekeepers had deployed with UNDOF to bring greater stability to the people of the area. We will do everything possible to secure their early release.

Indonesia is also a leading voice on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

Indonesia has been at the forefront of global efforts to advance sustainable development. I applaud Indonesia’s action on climate change. I have invited President Yudhoyono to the Climate Summit meeting that I will convene in New York this September 23rd. I am glad that he has confirmed he will attend the summit meeting.

President Yudhoyono served as a very able co-chair of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons for the post-2015 development agenda. He helped the Panel to reflect on new development challenges while drawing on Indonesia’s valuable experience with the Millennium Development Goals.

Member States of the United Nations are now stepping up their efforts to come to prepare a set of sustainable development goals – SDGs – that will be at the core of the post-2015 development agenda.  They are making headway towards identifying supportive financing and means of implementation.

I look forward to working with Indonesia and other Member States of the United Nations to achieve a post-2015 development agenda that builds on the successes of the MDGs to foster a life of dignity for all. Again, I am very much grateful to President Yudhoyono for his great leadership, engagement as well as vision to shape this future development agenda as Co-Chair of the High-Level Panel of eminent persons during 2013.

Indonesia is one of the largest democracies in the world and sets an excellent example of a vibrant democratic culture. I congratulate the people of Indonesia on the successful elections held this year. Those elections were conducted peacefully and democratically with all contenders respecting the results. President Yudhoyono’s legacy as the first democratically-elected president has steered this country towards greater political transparency and economic growth. And that has allowed Indonesia to play a more prominent role in the region and the world.

I look forward to working closely with President Yudhoyono’s successor. I have already had telephone talks with President-elect Mr. Joko Widodo. I assured him of the United Nations’ strong support, and we agreed to work together to address the many challenges facing our world.

I am confident President Yudhoyono will continue to work for humanity, working closely in the future even after his departure from the presidential office [with] the United Nations and [for] humanity. And I am confident that the United Nations will continue to deepen its partnership with Indonesia to realize our shared vision for a better world.

Thank you.

Statements on 29 August 2014