11 October 2011

Opening remarks at press encounter with Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark

Ban Ki-moon

It is a great honour and pleasure for me to visit Denmark again after two years. And it is all the more pleasure for me to have a bilateral meeting with the new Prime Minister Thorning-Schmidt so soon after her inauguration as leader of this great country. Denmark is one of the exemplary model countries in the United Nations, upholding and contributing to peace and security and development and human rights. You are the champion of all important pillars of the UN Charter. I count on your leadership and commitment under your administration.

The Prime Minister has just outlined the topics we discussed. We discussed a wide range of topics of common interest starting from broader context of Arab Spring, how we can work together to help those people realize their legitimate aspirations for greater freedom, participatory democracy and human rights.

Under this topic, we have discussed the situation in Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Egypt. And, on broader peace and security issues, we discussed about Sudan and Afghanistan. On development and global issues, our discussions were focused on how we can work again together to realize this sustainable development, including sustainable development energy and MDGs and green growth economy which Madame Prime Minister has initiated this morning in the form of 3G Forum, Global Green Growth Forum. It was a quite important and meaningful one, as we are now trying to realize sustainable development, which will be a very important UN Conference in June next year in Rio de Janeiro.

I have asked the Prime Minister to consider participating to lead her delegation to Rio+20 meeting next year. I hope you will consider positively even though you might have many important tasks.

We also discussed on how we can work together to promote gender empowerment and also help these women and children's health issues.

I thanked the Prime Minister for Denmark's extraordinary contributions to the work of the United Nations.

Copenhagen is a global city. You are host to international conferences, not only today's 3G Forum, but other meetings that made their mark in the past, like the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which was held in December 2009 and also the World Summit for Social Development.

I am also grateful to Copenhagen and the Danish Government for hosting our UN City, which is helping deliver better results for the people of our world. I am going there shortly, after this press conference.

The UN has a big presence in Denmark, and Denmark has a big presence at the United Nations. I rely on many Danish officials and staff who serve the United Nations around the world, from Afghanistan to Kosovo, from Liberia to Iraq.

Denmark is literally building a new UN by helping us renovate our headquarters in New York.

Denmark is one of just a handful of countries that meet the target of development aid and Denmark is on the front lines of our work for human rights, peace and development. Today, you have once again demonstrated your commitment to sustainable development and green growth.

I thanked Denmark for their generous contribution to my Sustainable Energy for All initiative. But you provide much more than funds; you show leadership and share ideas. The ambitious goals that you have set for your government regarding renewable energy and cuts in carbon emissions are very important and an inspiring example for all governments to follow.

I am working hard to strengthen the United Nations. We are modernizing our operations, and we are getting the most out of every krone. Our goal is to better respond to the needs of the world's people.

I know I can count on Denmark's new government under your leadership to help us reach these goals. Our partnership will become even more crucial in the first half of next year when Denmark becomes president of the European Union. I really count on your bold and visionary leadership to lead this European Union. With your support and your spirit of solidarity, I am confident that we can advance to a better future.

Thank you.