“Our changing world needs a stronger UN,” Mr. Ban declared in a wide-ranging speech. “My vision is an administration focused on results – efficient, directed, pragmatic and accountable, an administration representing excellence, integrity and pride in serving the global good.”
He acknowledged the need for a fresh approach, and, borrowing from the theme of a high-level event he convened yesterday to address the problems caused by greenhouse gas emissions, said: “We need an internal climate change at the UN.”
The Secretary-General, who since taking office in January has emphasized results over rhetoric, called for more attention “to getting things done.” He pointed to early successes in re-organizing peacekeeping operations and pledged to “continue the effort by strengthening the Department of Political Affairs.”
The stakes, he pointed out, are high. “Well-planned and executed preventive diplomacy can save many lives and forestall many tragedies.”
On the Middle East, he called for an end to violence, an end to occupation, the creation of a Palestinian State at peace with itself and Israel, and a comprehensive regional peace between Israel and the Arab world. “With renewed leadership from the Arab world and the United States, coupled with the efforts of Quartet Representative Tony Blair, the elements for a renewed push for peace are being brought together,” he said. The Quartet comprises the UN, European Union, Russian Federation and US.
“We also sincerely hope that the Lebanese people through national reconciliation will be able to restore political and social stability by electing their new president in accordance with their constitutional process,” said Mr. Ban.
The Secretary-General is also expected to conduct bilateral meetings with over 100 heads of State or government or ministers during the next two weeks.