|The eighth UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, greets his staff in New York.|
NEW YORK, USA, 2 January 2007 – With a broad smile, the eighth United Nations Secretary-General, arrived today at UN Headquarters in New York to start his first official day at work.
Welcomed by warm applause from his staff, the new Secretary-General expressed his gratitude and stressed the urgent need to address a host of international crises.
“I am very much overwhelmed by all this warm welcome,” said Mr. Ban. “Your presence this morning is a vivid proof that the United Nations is much alive on the front line, addressing all the challenges and issues and trying to give hope to all the people around the world.”
Mr. Ban, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea, succeeded Kofi Annan after the former UN chief completed his second term in office on 31 December. He told the staff that he was beginning his tenure as Secretary-General with “expectations and hope and promise,” adding: “I need your strong support.”
|Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with other high-ranking UN officials and agency heads, including UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman (at right, rear).|
Immediate attention to Darfur
“I start my duty at a daunting time in international affairs starting from Darfur to the Middle East, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, North Korea [and] many other crises that trouble our world,” Mr. Ban continued, noting that these issues must be addressed with collective action.
Answering questions from the media, Mr. Ban said he would immediately turn his attention to the crisis in Darfur, where over three years of fighting has left hundreds of thousands dead and driven 2 million or more from their homes.
Mr. Ban also pointed out the UN’s responsibility in “defending human rights and the need to step up our efforts to reach the target by 2015 of the Millennium Development Goals.”
After greeting the staff and the media, Mr. Ban took time to pay tribute to the many UN personnel who have fallen in the line of duty. He then met with other high-ranking officials and agency heads, including UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman.
Learn more about UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
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