At UN, Republic of Korea's Foreign Minister urges Pyongyang to return to talks

21 September 2006

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly today, the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea urged officials from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to return to talks and work towards denuclearizing the shared peninsula.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly today, the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea urged officials from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to return to talks and work towards denuclearizing the shared peninsula.

The nuclear and missile programmes of the DPRK constitute a “serious challenge to the non-proliferation regime as well as to regional security,” said Ban Ki-moon, urging Pyongyang to refrain from any action that might aggravate the situation and to return to the Six-Party talks without precondition for a diplomatic solution to the matter.

He recalled that last week in Washington, President Roh Moo-Hyun and President Bush agreed to work with other nations of the Six-Party Talks to develop a common and comprehensive approach to energize the process. “I strongly hope that these efforts will bear fruit, and we can work to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Pennisula.” Participants in the Six-Party Talks are the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.

On the issue of UN reform, he voiced support for the proposals put forward by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. “The Secretary-General's comments on the evolving nature of the UN's human resource needs were especially apt in light of the accelerating demands for field staff,” said the Foreign Minister.

“Improving the accountability and oversight in the Secretariat, building upon the measures already taken over the past year, remains a priority,” added Mr. Ban, who has been put forward as a candidate to succeed Mr. Annan, whose decade of service at the UN's helm ends on 31 December.

Also addressing the Assembly was Miyegombo Enkhbold, the Prime Minister of Mongolia, who hailed progress in UN reform. “The Peacebuilding Commission, Human Rights Council, Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and other achievements speak for themselves,” he said, while warning against complacency. “Redoubled efforts ought to be made to ensure that people in every corner of the world feel benefits of development in their life.”

He outlined steps being taken by Mongolia to improve the quality of life of its citizens, but voiced concern that the country would not be able to meet the goals of halving poverty and achieving environmental sustainability on its own. Instead, it required partnership and cooperation with bilateral and multilateral donors, international financial institutions and the private sector.

 

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