05 September 2016

Secretary-General's message to Bled Strategic Forum

[Delivered by Mr. Michael Møller, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva]

I am pleased to send greetings to the 2016 Bled Strategic Forum.  “Safeguarding the future” is a timely title for this gathering, which addresses many of the challenges that are debated at the United Nations.  Some of these topics are global in nature, such as energy and water security, terrorism, regional and human security.  In Europe, concerns over economic recovery, violent extremism and large movements of refugees and migrants have recently put a strain on institutions and cooperation arrangements.  We have witnessed increasingly divergent views and a return to unilateral responses.  However, resolving these challenges is more likely to be achieved through institutional and regional cooperation, which is why events such as the Bled Forum are so important. 

The United Nations is committed to finding multilateral, comprehensive solutions to the issues discussed at this Forum.  The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has opened new opportunities to eradicate poverty, combat inequality, safeguard the health of the planet and secure the well-being of future generations.  The Paris Agreement on climate change complements and reinforces these efforts.  We must channel our collective energy to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The United Nations is also committed to leading the search for global frameworks to better respond to the challenges of forced displacement, as well as regular migration.  At the Summit on Refugees and Migrants on 19 September 2016, Member States will reaffirm State obligations and offer a set of concrete commitments.  Efforts to address the root causes of displacement must also continue. 

The recent terrorist attacks in France, Germany and Belgium have left people feeling vulnerable and afraid.  As terrorist tactics change, our strategic approaches must also evolve.  Military and security responses are important, but we also need to address the drivers of violent extremism.  My Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism contains useful recommendations towards this end.  The United Nations is ready to step up its assistance to Member States in increasing international cooperation, exchanging information and sharing best practices. 

The United Nations is reinforcing its partnerships with regional and sub-regional organizations to coherently and effectively address the many challenges that Member States face.  I value your deliberations and wish you a successful Forum.