Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in Paris today, leading a retreat with the chiefs of United Nations specialized agencies, and meeting with various leaders.
The two-day gathering of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) brings together the heads of the various UN specialized agencies and the chiefs of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), otherwise known as the Bretton Woods institutions.
The group, which meets twice a year, will discuss the global financial crisis and how the world body is responding to it, as well as reviewing the work of the UN system in key areas, including security and climate change.
While in Paris, Mr. Ban met today with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and was briefed on the progress which has been made to date in the ongoing UN-backed negotiations aimed at reunifying the island.
“Mr. Talat expressed his optimism regarding the achievement of a mutually agreed solution to the Cyprus problem and reiterated his commitment to working towards such a solution,” UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters in New York.
The Secretary-General commended both Mr. Talat and Dimitris Christofias, the Greek Cypriot leader, for their commitment and determined leadership, and reiterated the strong and continued support of him and his good offices for their efforts.
Mr. Ban also met with former French President Jacques Chirac, with whom he discussed water scarcity, AIDS in Africa, Lebanon and Syria, and Haiti, as well as with French Prime Minister François Fillon.
In addition, he visited the offices of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to meet with agency staff.
The next and last stop on Mr. Ban’s six-nation trip – which has taken him to Russia, Qatar, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom – will be Istanbul, Turkey, for the second Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, which brings together religious leaders, governments, philanthropists, corporations, the media, academia and activists to help overcome prejudices among nations, cultures and religions.
After attending yesterday’s Group of 20 (G-20) meeting in London, the Secretary-General welcomed the $1.1 trillion package committed by the leaders of the nations, stressing that developing nations must receive the funds needed to stem the onset of a human development crisis.
The G-20 nations also “reaffirmed previous commitments to increase aid and help countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals,” he said in a statement referring to the ambitious anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline.
This means that these nations are promising at least $300 billion in aid over the next two years, he said. “For the poorest countries this will be crucial. The world will be watching.”