Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the Department earlier today. The Secretary expressed great appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice of the brave men and women of the UN who have, in recent days, endured several tragedies — the attack and ruthless murder at a UNAMA compound in Afghanistan, a UN staff member killed while trying to save civilians in Cote d’Ivoire, and the tragic crash of a UN plane in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The United States honors the sacrifices they made, and Secretary Clinton expressed condolences to the UN and to the loved ones of those lost.
They also discussed the current crisis in Libya and the importance of implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1973, adopted to prevent an impending massacre and protect civilians as they seek to determine their own future. The Secretary welcomed the appointment of Abdel Ilah Al-Khatib as the UN Special Envoy to Libya, as well as the work of the UN agencies on the ground, including the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, UNICEF, the WHO, the World Food Program and others working to meet the humanitarian needs of hundreds of thousands displaced by the conflict.
The Secretary and the Secretary General discussed Cote d’Ivoire, where UNOCI, alongside France, is conducting military operations to protect civilians from the escalating violence, as mandated in Security Council Resolution 1975. They condemned the unacceptable attacks on UN peacekeepers and reviewed international efforts to support the people of Cote d’Ivoire and to compel Laurent Gbagbo to step aside immediately. They also highlighted the need for the international community to respond generously to the increasing humanitarian needs there.
They also discussed their shared goal of seeing the UN reform itself and improve its management practices. Secretary Clinton welcomed the Secretary General’s efforts to instill budget discipline and she encouraged him to be mindful of the need to seek efficiencies, to continue to emphasize a culture of transparency, and to further modernize the way they conduct their business.