Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met yesterday with the head of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), María Emma Mejía Vélez, in discussions touching on cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, the issue of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) and sustainable development.
According to the Secretary-General’s spokesperson, Mr. Ban and Ms. Mejía Vélez exchanged views on international efforts to advance the global sustainable development agenda during Monday’s meeting in New York, with the UN chief highlighting the importance of a successful outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20, which will be held in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro in June.
On the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), Mr. Ban acknowledged strong regional support on the issue and reiterated that his good offices to resolve the dispute remain available when the parties are willing to engage. Argentina and the United Kingdom have been engaged in a sovereignty dispute over the South Atlantic islands.
Mr. Ban also expressed his gratitude to Ms. Mejía Vélez for UNASUR’s contribution and support of the reconstruction of Haiti, which was struck by a catastrophic earthquake in 2010.