PRESS STATEMENT 02/10
Thursday 21, January 2010
“Cooperation in Times of Crisis”: Forum SG attends High-Level Retreat hosted by UN SG Ban Ki-moon
Heads of regional organisations around the world attended a High-Level Retreat this month in New York hosted by United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, and thirteen other heads of regional organisations were invited by Mr Ban Ki-moon to discuss issues of critical concern to their respective regions and the maintenance of international peace and security.
The meeting which carried the theme “Cooperation in Times of Crisis” also sought to identify and consider specific areas to further strengthen ongoing and future cooperation between the UN and regional organisations.
“The High-Level Retreat also focused on identifying possible new avenues for cooperation in response to emerging global challenges, particularly relating to climate change and security, among other things,” explained Mr Slade.
Other issues discussed included poverty, conflict prevention, mediation and management, drugs/narcotics trafficking, trafficking in human beings and terrorism.
Mr Slade greatly welcomed the occasion to meet with the UN Secretary General and heads of other regional organisations, acknowledging it was an opportunity of considerable significance in strengthening international partnerships.
“The UN-Forum partnership is longstanding and we share deeply ingrained and fundamental values,” said Mr Slade.
“The Forum also supports the legitimacy of the role of the UN and of the primary responsibility that lies with the UN Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.”
Mr Ban Ki-moon observed that in the face of complex and interlinked problems, no-one can work in isolation and no-one can afford to do without the benefits of cooperation and burden-sharing.
Noting also the great potential gains of cooperation between the UN and regional organisations, Mr Ban Ki-moon reaffirmed that the UN aimed for greater flexibility and making the best possible use of each partner’s comparative advantages.
Along with Mr Slade, participants of the High-Level Retreat included the Secretaries General of the African Union (AU), Caribbean Community (CARICOM), League of Arab States (LAS), North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Director General for External Relations of the European Commission (EC).
Mr Slade concluded his visit to New York with meetings with the Pacific Islands Forum Group in New York, UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs, the UN Department of Political Affairs (UNDPA) and the Special Representative of INTERPOL to the United Nations.
Mr Slade also attended a session of the UN Security Council on Cooperation between the UN and regional organisations in maintaining international peace and security, and accompanied H.E. Ambassador Gary Quilan, Australia’s Ambassador to the United Nations who addressed the Security Council in Australia’s role as the Pacific Islands Forum Chair and on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum States represented at the UN in New York.
Mr Slade was accompanied by the Forum Secretariat’s Political Issues Adviser, Ms Desna M Solofa.
For more information please contact the Forum Secretariat’s Political Issues Adviser, Ms Desna M Solofa, on telephone +679 3312600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo caption: Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Secretary General Tuiloma Neroni Slade (left) with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
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