While on a visit to the capital of Austria, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be leading discussions on how the UN system can work together in unity so that it can deliver on the expectations of the international community.
“I am here to chair what we call the Chief Executives Board for Coordination meeting,” Mr. Ban told the press at a stakeout with Sebastian Kurz, Austrian Minister for Europe, Integration, and Foreign Affairs.
“This is a meeting which I convene twice a year, once in New York, once abroad. During the last year of my term as the Secretary-General I am very happy that all the leaders of the UN system, including the Bretton Woods institutions – the World Bank and IMF [International Monetary Fund] – and the specialized agencies, funds and programmes, they are all in Vienna,” he noted.
The UN chief highlighted the issues which he and Minister Kurz discussed in private.
“On Syria, let me just say that I am deeply concerned about developments on the ground, especially the attacks in Damascus yesterday and Aleppo overnight,” he said. “The UN Special Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, and others are working very hard to keep the cessation of hostilities on track.”
Mr. de Mistura will brief the Security Council tomorrow, with a focus on protecting civilians, improving humanitarian access and reducing the amount of violence. “That is the essence and purpose of the cessation of hostilities which must be supported by all,” Mr. Ban stressed.
Congratulating the Austrian Government for attending the historic signing ceremony for the Paris Agreement on climate change last Friday in New York, he said he counts on the Parliament of the country to ratify the “milestone” treaty without delay.
“This will bolster our global efforts to create a healthier, safer and more sustainable future for the planet and all people,” he stated, adding that the world today faces global threats – from pandemics to hate speech – and that no country can meet the challenges on its own.