United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke to Deutsche Welle about his plans for the global body, Germany's role in the UN and the current conflict over Iran's nuclear program.
The South Korean diplomat wants to build trust within the UN
DEUTSCHE WELLE: You have been in office for two months now. What was different than you expected?
Ban Ki-moon: Like my predecessor as secretary general, the last two months have been extremely busy. I have been trying to have this house in order, and I have realized that there are much more conflict issues than I have thought and the world is much wider than I have thought. I have been very much humbled by all the challenges lying before me. But I'm confident that with all help and cooperation from member states, I'll be able to discharge my duties as secretary general.
You said that the United Nations is not united but divided, so what will you do to unite the United Nations?
That is one of my top priorities, to restore trust and gain trust among member states. Unfortunately, we have seen mistrust among the member states, between big and small, between rich and poor countries, and there is some widespread mistrust again between member states and the secretariat. As a secretary general, I try to play a harmonizer's role to bridge the gap.
But how will you balance the interests, as you mentioned, of the developing countries and the other countries, for example, with the United States of America not very confident about the United Nations?
The United States and United Nation's partnership is very important. As secretary general, I would hope that I can expect very active and strong participation of the United States. The United States and United Nations, in fact share the same goals, objectives, peace and security, and harmony and development and human rights and the promotion of democracy. These are the same goals which we are trying to achieve, and therefore I'm confident that the United States will participate. They're a very active member state.
How important do you think the United Nations is today?
United Nations is the only universal global body working for peace and security and human rights and democracy. This is an inter-governmental body of 192 member states. This is center of multilateralism working for peace and security of the world. We need to nurture this only global body so that it can work more [efficiently] and effectively for our global body.
You said that reforms are necessary. Will there be a reform of the Security Council during your term and what kind of role would you like Germany to play in it?
Reform of the Security Council, considering the dramatic changes in international political scenes, is necessary. In fact, there is no doubt that the Security Council should be expanded. But how to expand and who should join as prominent member states of the Security Council, that is the core of this reform agenda of the Security Council. There [were] very intensive discussions among the member states, but unfortunately member states have not been able to agree on single formula. As secretary general, I'll try to facilitate on the basis of objectivity and impartiality to facilitate such ongoing consultations, so that this will be done in a most representative and democratic way.
And again what kind of role can Germany play in this unification?
Germany is a very important country. This is the third-largest of financial contributing countries; It has been participating in many activities of the United Nations -- peace and security as well as developmental strategies. Germany should try to expand in the areas of understandings and support among the member states for their goals of [becoming] a member of the Security Council.
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