Ban holds talks with several world leaders ahead of annual General Assembly debate

21 September 2008
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon  with President Demetris Christofias

As world leaders prepare to convene at United Nations Headquarters in New York for the annual debate of the General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with a number of them individually to discuss some of today's most pressing issues.

During his meeting today with President Demetris Christofias of Cyprus, Mr. Ban warmly welcomed the start of the full-fledged negotiations aimed at a comprehensive settlement on the Mediterranean island, according to a readout of the talks provided by the Secretary-General's spokesperson.

Mr. Ban welcomed reaffirmation by President Christofias of his commitment to finding a solution and his willingness to continue to work with the UN, including the Secretary-General's Special Adviser, Alexander Downer.

They also discussed collaboration between the UN and Cyprus on global issues, including the set of global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and climate change.

Among his many other meetings today was with Tony Blair, the Representative for the Middle East diplomatic Quartet, which comprises the UN, the European Union, Russia and the United States.

They discussed the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and Mr. Blair's work in that regard, according to a readout, which added that they both recognized the progress that had been made in improving the situation on the ground but stressed that more still needed to be done.

Mr. Ban also met with another member of the Quartet, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in addition to the Presidents of Finland, Burkina Faso, Paraguay, Austria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Marshall Islands, Cape Verde and Slovenia.


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