United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council that stepping up efforts to resolve the Darfur crisis is one of his top priorities, warning of an ever worsening humanitarian crisis in this strife-torn part of Sudan, as he also highlighted the Middle East and UN peacekeeping worldwide as other key challenges, Trend reports.
Mr. Ban, who was addressing the Council for the first time since becoming Secretary-General on 1 January, assured the 15-member body of his deep sense of mission, duty and dedication during a debate on threats to international peace and security, after which the Council issued a presidential statement pledging to work closely with the Secretary-General to deal with these issues.
He also pledged to strengthen the UN's ability to play its role to the fullest extent in conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. I see all of those as a continuum and the role of the United Nations as one that must be coordinated, comprehensive and consistent.
Mr. Ban also highlighted other countries, including Afghanistan and Kosovo, before focusing on broader problems вЂ" such as terrorism, HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty вЂ" that present threats to the security of people around the world, and to the entire international community.
Both demand urgent, sustained and comprehensive attention from the international community. The same is true of HIV/AIDS and the other pandemics that not only take a huge human, social and economic toll on countries that can least afford it; they also pose threats to peace and stability, in the devastation they wreak on capacity and governance.
Highlighting the special challenges posed by the cases of Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Mr. Ban also called for more to be done in the areas of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, saying it is essential that the international community works as one to address these challenges.
Some of our most acute and persistent challenges are in Africa. One of my top priorities will be to step up efforts to address the crisis in Darfur, where the humanitarian situation is growing worse, despite all the declarations and proclamations of the international community over the past three years, Mr. Ban said, adding he would discuss this and other regional issues with African Union leaders in Addis Ababa later this month.
He also pledged to to inject new momentum into our search for peace and stability in the Middle East, calling for a rededication to the work of the Quartet вЂ" the UN, European Union, United States and Russian Federation вЂ" in resolving differences between Israel and Palestine.
Responding to such threats is, after all, one of the primary purposes of the United Nations, and a particular responsibility of the Security Council, he said. This is true whether we are considering the threat of terrorism вЂ" a faceless enemy which knows no boundaries вЂ" or weapons of mass destruction, which present a unique existential threat to all humanity.
I am committed to strengthening and consolidating the work of the United Nations in this direction. In such an endeavour, I shall try to play the role of harmonizer and bridge-builder, and work to restore trust between Member States and the Secretariat, he said, while also stressing the world body's wider role in conflict prevention and peacekeeping.