New York

24 August 2012

Secretary-General's press encounter with Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi

SG: Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to welcome our distinguished Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Dr. Lakhdar Brahimi, who will take a very important, crucial task, to bring peace and stability and the promotion of human rights in Syria.

I am very much grateful for your taking this very important, crucial job.  You are no stranger to the United Nations. You have such wide respect not only from the United Nations staff, but of all the international community. Your extraordinary talent and experience in the region and in most of the international community’s conflict issues will bring great impact in our common efforts to address this very crucial, important crisis.

I am deeply concerned, as you are, as all the members of the international community, that still fighting is going on.  The longer this fighting goes on the more people will be killed, the more people will suffer. In that regard, your contribution, your leadership, will be very important. You have the full respect and full support of the international community.  It is crucially important that the Security Council, the whole United Nations System is supporting your work, and we are very happy to have you again. Thank you very much for your commitment and leadership. Thank you.

Mr. Brahimi: Secretary-General, I think, when you called me, I told you that I was honoured, flattered, humbled and scared. I am still in that frame of mind. I will definitely give this my very, very best. I know a few people in Syria, and in the region. I have already spoken a little bit about the situation there and about how I was going to serve the United Nations and yourself, the Arab League and Dr. Nabil ElAraby, but above all the Syrian people. They will be our first masters.  We will consider their interests above and before everything else.  We will try to help as much as we can. We will not spare any effort. I am very, very, glad and very happy and very grateful, confident of your support.  Let’s try and see what we can do.

SG: Thank you very much.