San Salvador

16 January 2015

Secretary-General remarks at joint press conference with President Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador

Estoy muy feliz de estar en El Salvador.  Muchas gracias por su hospitalidad hermosa.
I am honoured to be here to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the signing of the Peace Accords.
El Salvador and the United Nations have a long and special relationship.
The Salvadoran peace process heavily influenced the way the United Nations works to this day on peace, security and human rights issues around the world.
My predecessor, Secretary-General, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, has played a pivotal role in securing peace.
Many of our officers spent important years of their careers in this country.  They lived, worked and learned hand-in-hand with the Salvadoran people.  El Salvador remains close to the heart of the United Nations. We are proud to have been partners in peace with El Salvador.
As you know, El Salvador is an active and important member of the United Nations.
Its recent election as member of the Human Rights Council is a demonstration and recognition of its engagement and commitment to the principles of the United Nations Organization.
I have been particularly heartened by the President’s efforts to open channels of participation for all sectors of society.
El Salvador faces important challenges that can only be addressed through dialogue and collective action.
There is a need to uphold the spirit of the Peace Accords, deepen reconciliation and work together to reach consensus on key issues for the future of this country.
We are of course deeply concerned about the level of citizen security and violence throughout Central America and in El Salvador.  I share the anguish and pain of so many innocent families who have suffered so much.
I am encouraged by the establishment of the National Council on Citizen Security and Coexistence. The United Nations stands ready to continue engaging in this process.
I am encouraged that the National Security Commission has submitted their recommendation yesterday to the President and we discussed with the President and the United Nations is fully ready to support this recommendation.
His Excellency, the President and I also discussed plans to widen consultation and dialogue on issues such as education, decent job opportunities and investment.
I also learned more about the recently launched five-year Development Plan, the priorities of which are aligned with those of the United Nations such as promoting an inclusive economic model and advancing universal social services and social protection.
I am also pleased that the Plan places human rights at the centre of policy making.
I have encouraged President Sánchez Cerén to continue working to strengthen the human rights of women, children, the LGBT community and indigenous peoples and to beef up institutions to end impunity.
The United Nations remains committed to continue working with Salvadoran institutions and civil society to consolidate the rule of law, ensure respect for human rights and promote sustainable and inclusive development.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This is a critical year to make progress on people and our planet. The year 2015, this year, we will mark the end of the Millennium Development Goals and we have the opportunity [to produce] a new set of Sustainable Development Goals and a meaningful and universal climate change agreement.
I am honoured to be in El Salvador as a part of my first overseas trip of this pivotal year and to share with you in this anniversary of the peace accords.
I want to, once again, underscore the commitment of the United Nations for peace, development and human rights for all the Salvadoran people.
I am very much encouraged and happy to see President Sánchez Cerén and his government is fully on board to work together with the United Nations and I thank your government’s strong support of our United Nations Country Team and we have many agencies, funds and programmes will work very closely with your government, agencies and people.
I thank you very much.
Muchas gracias.