Council of General Assembly Presidents Meets in Seoul, Republic of Korea, Discusses Climate Change, Millennium Goals, Global Financial Crisis

17 June 2009

Council of General Assembly Presidents Meets in Seoul, Republic of Korea, Discusses Climate Change, Millennium Goals, Global Financial Crisis

17 June 2009
General Assembly
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York



The Council of Presidents of the General Assembly of the United Nations held its second Special Meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea, on 15-17 June 2009 at the invitation of Han Seung-soo, President of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly and current Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea.

The Meeting was co-chaired by Prime Minister Han and Julian Hunte, Chairman of the Council and President of the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly.

Members of the Council, drawing on their experiences as Presidents of the General Assembly, exchanged their insights on how the United Nations, as the world body representing humanity’s highest collective aspirations, could strengthen its role in addressing new global challenges and threats.  The Council focused, among other things, on the issues of climate change, the Millennium Development Goals and the global financial crisis.  The participants also considered the situation on the Korean peninsula and expressed their grave concern over the recent nuclear test by Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Through his video message, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, President of the current session of the General Assembly, appreciated the unique contributions of the Council and emphasized the vital role of the General Assembly in meeting the global challenges facing the international community.

At the meeting’s conclusion, the Council adopted the Seoul Statement, as follows:

The Council,

Reaffirming the importance of the work of the United Nations to realize its goals and principles aimed at promoting international peace and security, as well as the economic and social advancement of all peoples,

Reiterating that the United Nations should serve as the lead multilateral organization to respond to the global crises and to improve global coordination to prevent their recurrences,

Recognizing that the United Nations system has a vital role to play in substantially improving Member States’ capacities to effectively address global issues and facilitating multilateral cooperation to achieve global peace, prosperity and welfare,

Emphasizing its conviction that, with their extensive experiences, the former Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly could make substantial contributions to the efforts of the United Nations with a view to strengthening global solidarity,

“1.   Discussed ways to effectively respond to the urgent issues placed before the United Nations General Assembly, including climate change, the Millennium Development Goals and the global financial crisis.

“2.   Reaffirmed that the international community needs to collectively and urgently address the climate change issue, and stressed that the United Nations system should assist the international community in achieving an inclusive, fair and comprehensive post-2012 regime.

“3.   Expressed concern on the uneven progress towards the Millennium Development Goals at the halfway mark to 2015, and emphasized that it is important for the international community to deliver its aid commitments and mobilize resources to meet the international development objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals.

“4.   Noted that the current international financial crisis has markedly slowed down growth across the world and has put most part of the world in deep recession, and urged the international community to make efforts to find a common solution to generate momentum for recovery.

“5.   Appreciated the efforts made by the current President of the United Nations General Assembly to effectively address the United Nations priority agenda, including the Millennium Development Goals, climate change and the financial crisis, and welcomed in this regard, the “United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development”, to be held in June 2009.

“6.   Recognized the United Nations system’s quick and effective response to global challenges, expressed its appreciation to the United Nations Secretary-General for his unrelenting efforts to ensure that the United Nations serves not only as an effective instrument of multilateralism, but as an agent of the transformation that the world needs to weather these troubled times, and appreciated the Secretary-General’s efforts to promote the climate change issue as a United Nations priority agenda, especially the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in December 2009.

“7.   Emphasized the need to strengthen the role of the Council in relation to the United Nations General Assembly, and agreed to further examine potential modalities to place the Council in a better position to substantively contribute to the work of the United Nations.

“8.   Expressed its graveconcern regarding the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s recent nuclear test, which poses a serious threat to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in North-East Asia, as well as the international non-proliferation regime, and reiterated its full support to resolution 1874 adopted by the Security Council on 12 June 2009, reaffirming that the six-party talks continues to be a useful framework for resolving the North Korean nuclear issue.  The Council is convinced that the global community, in particular the United Nations General Assembly, needs to demonstrate to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in a firm manner that its clear provocations lead to dangerous consequences.

“9.   Expressed its appreciation and gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Korea for hosting the Second Special Meeting of the Council of Presidents and for the warm hospitality it extended to the Council.”

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.