Ban emphasizes key role of UN in tackling today’s challenges

31 August 2009
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg at joint press conference in Oslo

The United Nations plays a critical role in addressing the current food, climate and other crises, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today in Oslo, as he stressed that Norway is one of the Organization’s strongest partners in tackling global challenges.

The financial, flu, fuel and other emergencies cannot be solved by nations acting alone, Mr. Ban told reporters after meeting with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

“The United Nations is the forum where we can all discuss our different agendas towards a very harmonious resolution for the common well-being and the common prosperity of the world,” he noted.

“People know that the United Nations is front and centre right now in addressing all these multiple crises.”

Acknowledging that it is natural for the international community to expect the world body to step up to the plate in addressing the simultaneous crises, he called for support from all 192 Member States.

Mr. Ban singled out Norway – home to the UN’s first Secretary-General, Trygve Lie – for its “steadfast” contributions in the realms of climate change, development, health, human rights and peacekeeping.

“Norway has been and is delivering,” the Secretary-General said. “It is among the most dynamic and generous supporters of the United Nations.”

Following a working breakfast with Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, he expressed appreciation for the country’s leadership and initiatives for Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Sudan.

On climate change, Mr. Ban thanked Norway for its role in UN Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD), which seeks to combat climate change through creating incentives to reverse the trend of deforestation.

The Secretary-General will travel to Svalbard, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, to see firsthand the impact of climate change at the Polar ice rim.

“I will try to deliver a clear strong message from my visit to the North Pole,” he said, underscoring that only 15 days of negotiations remain before the start of December’s climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, where countries are expected to wrap up negotiations on a new pact to go into effect when the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period ends in 2012.

“Now is the time for decision-making,” Mr. Ban stressed. “We must seal a deal in Copenhagen for a global, equitable and comprehensive deal for the future of humanity and the future of Planet Earth.”

While in Oslo today, he also addressed the country’s parliamentarians, calling Norway and its people a “model of enlightened engagement and true partnership.”

In a speech in Austria yesterday, Mr. Ban highlighted the importance of trust – both among States and in the United Nations – in tackling a range of global crises, while calling for a renewed multilateralism that delivers results for the world's people.

“Pressed by crisis on several fronts, the world is coming to understand the need to work together as never before in a spirit of shared purpose,” Mr. Ban said at the European Forum Alpbach Political Symposium.

“A renewed multilateralism that delivers real results for real people in need,” he stated, “a multilateralism where countries and regions engage with each other in a spirit of trust, cooperation and mutual reliance.”


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