Press Releases

    UNIS/SGSM/180
    8 April 2010

    The Secretary-General

    Press Stakeout with H.E. Werner Faymann,
    Federal Chancellor of Austria

    Vienna, 8 April 2010

    VIENNA, 8 April (UN Information Service) - Danke schoen, Herr Bundeskanzler. (Thank you, Mr. Chancellor)

    Meine Damen und Herren, guten Tag! (Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen)

    Es freut mich sehr. Ich danke Ihnen fuer Ihre Gastfreundlichkeit. (I am pleased to be here and highly appreciate your hospitality)

    I had a very good meeting and it is a great pleasure for me to meet the Federal Chancellor again after our meeting in Copenhagen last year. We covered a full range of topics.

    I thanked the Chancellor for Austria's leadership in the Security Council and the vital role Austrian troops are playing in UN peacekeeping missions throughout the world.

    I share Austria's concern that mandates for those missions could be better funded and have more clearly defined benchmarks for achievement and I highly commended the contribution of many men and women of Austria for contributing to peace and stability all around the world, and particularly in the Golan Heights and elsewhere.

    We had also extensive discussions on how the international community can help to facilitate the Middle East peace process and he briefed me about his plan to visit the Middle East. I briefed him on my own recent visit to the Middle East, including Gaza, and we discussed developments and the prospects for proximity talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

    We discussed at great length about the situation which is happening in Kyrgyzstan and we agreed that while we support the freedom of assembly, all the differences of opinion should be handled properly according to the rule of law and also respecting human rights, and we expressed our concern. And I explained to him my plan of dispatching my Special Envoy to the region, Mr. Jan Kubiš, and my intention to work closely with the OSCE in this regard.

    We are also of the same view that this is an important year for progress on a variety of vital concerns - from nuclear non-proliferation, to gender empowerment, to building a roadmap to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

    I am convening a Millennium Development Goals summit meeting in September in New York, and I have invited Federal Chancellor Faymann to attend. I look forward to his active participation as we seek to agree on an ambitious roadmap with concrete actions to help us get where we need to be by 2015.

    On climate change, I expressed my deep appreciation for his own personal participation in the Copenhagen summit meeting last December. And we discussed how we can maintain the momentum from Copenhagen.

    We will need to work hard to achieve a robust legally binding treaty as soon as possible. In that regard I was very much grateful for the Austrian Government's willingness to provide all necessary, possible support for the coming negotiation process.

    And I know I can count on the leadership of Austria on these crucial global challenges and more.

    And I once again thank Austria for its role as such a major centre of the work of the United Nations.

    Danke schoen. Auf eine weitere gute Zusammenarbeit. Danke schoen. Ihnen alles Gute. (Thank you. I am looking forward to continuing our excellent cooperation in the future. Thank you. I wish you all the best.)

    Q: Mr. Secretary-General I say good morning again because you didn't hear that in our previous meeting. I would like to ask you about the Middle East. There is a story today in the New York Times which indicates that the White House is considering its own peace plan for the stalemate that is actually occurring, which is lasting in that area for such a long time.  Would you favour such an initiative by the United States to present their own peace plan instead of waiting for what the proximity talks might bring?

    SG: At this time I am not in a position to make any comment on such a peace plan to be prepared by the American Government because I have not been informed.  What Quartet members together with the United States have been working [on] was to facilitate and strongly support the proximity talks which had been agreed with some difficulties. I as a member of the Quartet as well as in my capacity as Secretary-General I have been sparing no efforts to support these proximity talks. I went to Libya to participate in the League of Arab [States] summit meeting to talk to Arab leaders for their support for these proximity talks. Now it is necessary that the proximity talks need to be launched as soon as possible then we will have to see how the proximity talks will continue.  These proximity talks I believe in the end should lead to direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians to resolve all core issues including order and refugees and peace and security matters.

    Thank you very much

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