01/18/2007, 00.00
UNITED STATES – UNITED NATIONS
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Working together with the United States is necessary, say UN secretary

by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
Mr Ban Ki-moon goes to Washington for the first time since becoming the UN’s boss. In the US capital he agrees both his organisation and US share the same objectives: peace, democracy and freedom.

Washington (AsiaNews) –  In a statement released during an official visit to the White House, where he met US President George W. Bush, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was convinced that the United Nations and the United States had to work together to address conflicts and other global issues, including North Korea, the Middle East and Somalia.

Ban said that he had a “very good, very useful meeting’’ with the president, and that both shared the same objectives of achieving peace, security, freedom and democracy.

The United Nations needs the strong and active participation and strong support of the United States and was happy the two shared objectives, he added.

For his part, Bush thanked the General Secretary, for their “discussions about Iran and North Korea,” adding “I wish you all the best in this important job”.

Among the goals the new UN boss has set for himself reforming the organisation’s bureaucracy and streamlining its procedures are top priorities.

“The United Nations should change,” Ban said, and “I’m very much committed to carrying out this reform and I need the strong support of all member states”.

Before leaving, Ban met both Democratic and Republican members of the US Congress. He also addressed the Center for Strategic and International Studies, outlining his view of his priorities in office and on the future of the UN-US relationship.

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