Moon meets Obama

UN chief praises Obama’s leadership

UN chief praises Obama’s leadership

M Mushfiqul Fazal from White House, Aug 5 (Just News): UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praises US President Barack Obama’s global leadership. Obama acknowledged the demands on the United Nations have never been greater when he welcomed U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the White House for talks Tuesday.

US president said that, “I think I speak for world leaders in a wide variety of countries when I say that the Secretary General has shown outstanding leadership during what has been one of the most challenging and turbulent times in international affairs.  I think he’s fair-minded.  I think he has shown a willingness to tackle tough issues and to speak hard truths, and I very much appreciate personally the work that he’s done”.

Obama said the “urgency of a world response” to the threat of climate change topped the list of issues during their talks, which came a day after he unveiled a plan to sharply cut the carbon pollution produced by American power plants.

The president's call to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 is opposed by major U.S. industry groups as too costly and illegal. Republicans in Congress vowed to fight the tougher power plant standards, saying they would hurt coal-mining states.

Sitting next to UN chief in the Oval Office, Obama said he highlighted U.S. work on renewable energy and meeting “aggressive” targets in preparation for the U.N. climate conference in Paris later this year.

He said he encouraged the secretary-general “to continue to work with us to press those countries who have not yet put forward bold, aggressive plans to do so. Because we need Paris to be a success, and the world has to step up in a concerted way on behalf of our children and future generations.”

“Sometimes people ask why the United States is so devoted to the United Nations, and, obviously, beyond the fact that we helped set up the United Nations, what was true 60, 70 years ago is still true today.  And that is that without a forum for discussion, negotiation, and diplomacy, the world is a worse place, and it is very much in the United States’ interests to ensure that international norms, rules of the road, and humanitarian norms are observed.  And the United Nations gives us a critical opportunity to try to prevent conflict, create peace, maintain stability -- all of which ultimately is good for America’s security and America’s prosperity”, US president added.

He said, “We discussed a wide range of issues during this meeting.  We started with Syria, where obviously the humanitarian crisis has gotten worse.  And Secretary General Ban and I shared the view that we are at a critical juncture; that it is important for us to bring about an effective political transition that would respect the rights of all Syrians; and that, in the interim, it’s important for us to try to eliminate some of the carnage that’s been taking place directed at civilians and non-combatants”.

“The last point I’d make is that the Secretary General has actually shown significant progress in U.N. reform -- making the institution more efficient, more effective.  I think the Secretary General would be the first to acknowledge that there is more work to do on that front, but he is making an earnest effort in making progress.  And we very much appreciate that and encourage that to continue, because we think we need a strong, healthy United Nations, but at a time when all the member countries are under severe fiscal constraints, we want to make sure, obviously, that the United Nations is operating as efficiently as possible”, Obama added.

Ban commended Obama’s strong commitment to climate change from his first day in office, noting his “visionary and bold” announcement Monday.

“The United Nations and the United States share common goals in peace and security, human rights and development.  In that regard, I really appreciate such a strong leadership and cooperation and support of the U.S. government and President Obama.  You and the American people care about the world of justice, freedom, and opportunity for all.  I am very confident that the partnership between the United Nations and the United States is now making very solid foundation and strong and stronger, and I count on your continuing support on that”, UN chief said.

“This Clean Power Plan powers economies and generates jobs. And also it can generate huge dividends here at home in the U.S. economy,” Moon said, turning to Obama. “And I am sure this will impact a lot of countries. And I really appreciate your personal engagement, starting with China, Brazil and India and many others,”

UN Chief said, “As President Obama has just explained in detailed manner, I do not have much to add to all the subjects, but if I may just say a few words from my own perspective as the Secretary General.  On Syria, this is the most troubling situation, where all the leaders of the world should really take much more strengthened leadership on.  I have asked President Obama to demonstrate and exercise his stronger leadership in working together with the key partners of the Security Council”.

Two leaders shared “deep concerns” about the humanitarian situation in Syria. Obama noted the need to “stop the killing and arrive at a realistic, political process that can lead to a stabilizing of the country.”

But diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving Syria's political conflict have stalled. The United States leads an anti-Islamic State coalition conducting airstrikes in Syria, and recently welcomed Turkey's adoption of a military role in Syria.

UN chief said the United Nations is trying to expedite humanitarian assistance to the war-torn nation.

The secretary-general also made a plea to member states for generous humanitarian assistance in Yemen, where he said 80 percent of the population, or more than 21 million people, is in need of urgent help. Ban said both leaders reinforced the need for a political, not military, solution in that country.

“On climate change, I intend to work very closely with the member states so that the legally binding global treaty can be achieved by the end of 2015.  And for that possible -- to facilitate this process, I intend to convene a leaders meeting sometime next year.  I have invited President Obama.  I invited him to play a very important leadership role for humanity”, UN chief added.

He said, “As far as the United Nations reform is concerned, we will continue to make this organization more effective, efficient, accountable, and more trustworthy”.

In Libya, Obama noted some “modest progress” in bringing together the many factions that have created great difficulty in governance and “created a vacuum that is causing everything from to an outflow of refugees to the safe havens for organizations like ISIL,” an acronym used for the Islamic State group.

Both leaders also discussed the situation in South Sudan, with the secretary-general praising the president’s efforts to stop the violence. He noted Obama’s recent trip to Ethiopia, where the president convened a meeting with regional leaders on South Sudan.

US president said hope regarding South Sudan’s recognition as a country had been squandered by President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar. He said the goal is to have an agreement in place by August 17 to stop the bloodshed and move forward with an inclusive government.

“If they miss that target, then I think it is our view that it’s going to be necessary for us to move forward with a different plan and recognize that those leaders are incapable of creating the peace that is required,” Obama said.

US Vice President  Joe Viden, US Ambassador to UN Samantha Power, Secretary General's Special Advisor Amina Mohammed and UN chief spokeperson Stephane Dujarric were also present during the meeting.

(Just News/gys/1020hr)