The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said during the opening session of the 5th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) at the Hofburg Festsaal in Vienna that the agenda of the (UNAOC) Forum has a direct relationship to the situation in Syria, Mali, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Millennium Development Goals, and how to identify and agree on the sustainable development goals, the post-MDG development agenda in a broader sense.
We are also focusing on deepening our partnership, not only among government leadership but business communities, religious leadership, civil society leadership through this strengthened network and partnership. I am sure that we will be able to promote more effectively, more harmoniously, in a more structured way the goal which we are now promoting to make a better world, more tolerant and more and deeply understanding and appreciating the diversity of this world, forever, and wherever we may be living with whatever background of religious thoughts or belief and everybody has a right to live with dignity and respect. This is the main purpose of our initiative of the Alliance of Civilization. And let us work together. And each and everyone of us has a role to play. And I really count on the leadership of the world’s government so that they place the highest political priority on this matter.
Ki-moon was asked (in Turkish) about reform of the Security Council and whether he agreed with the Turkish Prime Minister on this. He said that the Security Council Reform has been an issue which Member States have been very seriously discussing during the last 2 decades, for at least 20 years.
If we consider the dramatic changes that have taken place since the founding of the United Nations in 1945, I believe that the Security Council needs change in a more representative, more democratic, more transparent way. Members of the Security Council, they have also have been trying to change and improve their way of working. In this regard they have made this certain progress in terms of transparency of their way of working but when it comes to fundamental structural reform of the Security Council, despite such a long and very serious debate among the Member States we have not seen much progress. There is a widely shared almost a consensus of views that the Security Council must be changed but how to change? How many members there should be? What to do about veto powers which Prime Minister mentioned? Who will be represented? How the Member States can be represented? All these critically important issues have not met with satisfactory consensus opinions among the Member States.
I sincerely hope that the Member States continue to discuss this matter. The ninth intergovernmental negotiation is soon going to take place, the President of the General Assembly together with his facilitator who is Ambassador of Afghanistan, is very actively engaged in this matter. As the Secretary General I will also try to facilitate a political conducive atmosphere so the Member States will accelerate their discussions on this matter.