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Department of Public Information (DPI)
14 December 2011
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
PRESS CONFERENCE BY SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON AT UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS
Following is a transcript of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s press conference, held in New York on 14 December:
With the help of the Quartet, we must continue to push for peace between Israel and Palestine.
Thank you, and I will be happy to answer your questions.
Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General. Now that Palestine has been officially admitted as a member of UNESCO [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization]; I believe its flag was raised the other day. And this was followed by a cut-off of funding for UNESCO by the United States, and the Palestinians are also still seeking full UN membership. You have expressed some concerns in the past regarding further efforts by the Palestinians to seek membership in other UN bodies, if that would have an adverse impact on funding. Do you still have such concerns going forward? And if so, have you communicated those concerns with Palestinian authorities?
We have to look at this issue in a different angle. Admission of Palestinians into the United Nations is a separate one. I support their aspirations to be admitted into the United Nations and to be able to work in other international organizations as a full member within the context of the two-State vision where Israel and Palestinians can live together side by side in peace and security. Then the funding gap, which has been caused by the US cutting this funding over the case of admission into UNESCO; that is another matter. As the Secretary-General of the United Nations, I hope and I am working very hard that all the United Nations agencies should be able to operate with adequate funding, adequate resources to deliver to those people who need our help. That is my concern. That is my concern, that UNESCO will have a shortage of funding. I have been expressing this concern to world leaders, whomever I met, so that we would be able to find some practical mechanisms where we can address this shortage of funding. So these are separate issues.
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For information media • not an official record