Obama Meets With U.N. Secretary General

have a tremendously adverse effect on the international economy if we don’t take action.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: Thank you very much, Mr. President.  I’m very much honored to meet you and discuss on all the matters of our mutual concern and interest between the United Nations and the United States.

It’s a very encouraging sign coming from your office to the United Nations that we are meeting at such an early stage of your administration.  And I count on your great leadership.  The United Nations and the United States share common visions and objectives for peace, stability, development and human rights.  As Secretary General of the United Nations, you can count on me my full commitment and working together with you.

I think year 2009 is a make-or-break year, full of crises on many fronts — for the United Nations, for the United States, and whole international community as a whole.  For that, we need to work very closely to address all the issues.  I have been closely following with a deepest admiration what you have been taking, demonstrating great leadership, very dynamic and visionary, to overcome this international economic crisis.  I welcome your very strong national stimulus packages, and I’m also looking forward to meeting you and discussing with you and other leaders at G20 summit meeting in London.

What I’d like to emphasize, as Secretary General of the United Nations, is that leaders of G20 should not lose sight of the challenges and plight of hundreds of hundreds of millions of poorest people of the developing countries who have been impacted by this economic crisis.

The leaders of industrialized countries should keep their commitment on Millennium Development goals and official development assistance, and help developing countries overcome food security and also help them to adapt and mitigate climate change.

Climate change, as, Mr. President, you have said, is a priority for the United Nations and for whole international community.  I am going to focus and work together with the leaders of the world to address this issue, to unlock all this massive investment for the green economic recovery, and also to save our planet.  This is an issue of our era.  I count on your strong commitment and leadership.  Whole world is now looking at your leadership.  And I’m willing to — I’m committed to work together with you.

We have discussed, as President Obama just mentioned, on many issues, starting from Afghanistan, Sudan and Iraq and Pakistan, and disarmament, and nonproliferation issues like North Korean nuclear issues.  And on all of these issues, we — I’m committed to work together with you.  I count on your leadership.

United Nations stands ready to work together with you, Mr. President, to make this make-or-break year turn into make-it-work, full of optimism and resolution.  And thank you very much, Mr. President.

President Obama: Thank you so much.

Secretary General Ban: Thank you, sir.

President Obama: Thank you, everybody.  Appreciate it.

Source: White House

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