2015 to be a major year for UN: Ban Ki-moon
James Kon

THE United Nations Secretary-General yesterday praised His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for his leadership in convening the summit meeting and expressed that Brunei Darussalam has played an important role in strengthening Asean and the United Nations during the past year.

Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General, lauded Brunei’s vital role in strengthening cooperation between Asean and the United Nations during a press conference following the Asean UN Summit yesterday.

However with the Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015, the United Nations Secretary-General also reminded Asean countries who have yet to achieve the goals to harness the region’s dynamism to achieve growth and sustainable developments.

The United Nations Secretary-General stated, “(In) just over 800 days, we have to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

“Southeast Asia has shown considerable progress but gaps remain within and among countries of Asean. We need to harness the region’s dynamism to set due standard for achievable growth and sustainable developments.”

Touching on the Asean-UN relationship, Ban Ki-moon mentioned, “We have just reviewed the joint declaration on comprehensive partnership of UN and Asean, which was adapted three years ago in Bali. The collaboration includes disaster management to address climate change and from human rights to conflict prevention, culture and education.”

He also expressed, “I look forward to the continued partnership based on producing tangible results for the people of Southeast Asia. Asean is at the threshold of an exciting new era as it moves toward the establishment of Asean Community in 2015.”

He also added that the United Nations is proud to work with Asean countries and look forward to furthering the partnership as Myanmar becomes the Chair of Asean for 2014 and Malaysia for 2015.

At the press conference, Ban Ki-moon also highlighted the importance of 2015.

“2015 is also a major year for the United Nations for three reasons. First, the UN is accelerating together the member states to realise the Millennium goals.

“Secondly, we must finalise the ambitious legal agreement on Climate Change whereby member states have agreed in Durban 2011 to legally binding climate change agreement by 2015 and allow another five years for ratification. So that by 2020, there would have legal documents on climate change.

“Thirdly, we have to define a bold and ambitious but tactical sustainable development and I count on the contributions from Asean countries toward the objectives,” he continued.

On the importance of youth, the United Nations Secretary-General has called on leaders of the world to pay more focus on the young population.

“This world is very young and more than half is under the age of 25 years old, therefore world leaders should focus more on our future leaders. All the democratic transformations have been taking place through active participation of youths and women. UN is focusing and taking priority on gender and women empowerment to provide equal and better opportunity.

“This year we have appointed a special envoy on Youth. Ahmad Alhendawi, a 29-year-old Jordanian, to raise awareness on doing more for youth. We have to provide good social economic opportunities for youths. For the countries in the Asia Pacific, this is a source of innovation and economic growth. I am happy to work together with leaders of the Asia Pacific,” he said. - Borneo Bulletin (11 October 2013)