Ban Ki-moon eyes greater UN role for Russia

Ban Ki-moon says he hopes Russia’s contribution to the UN will grow even further as the country’s economy gains momentum. The UN Secretary General made the statement during a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow.

It’s the second day of Ban Ki Moon’s first official visit to Moscow as the UN Secretary General.

Speaking at a media conference after the meeting both Ban Ki-Moon and Lavrov said they were satisfied with today’s talks.

To watch the conference, please follow the link.

Russia’s Foreign Minister said he’s sure the UN head's visit ‘will contribute to deepening and enhancing’ of the co-operation.

“I hope that the work will be continued in the future,” he said.

“The role of UN as a world organisation is becoming more important. It is necessary in order to have equal dialogue with all countries in the world, and Russia actively supports this,” Lavrov said

Lavrov said that speaking about Serbia’s province of Kosovo they agreed “it is important to act based on resolution 1244, and that it is necessary to strictly follow the mandate of the UN mission in Kosovo, stated in this resolution and approved by the Security Council”.

“I think there is a mutual understanding that our combined efforts to defend this approach have potential. Recent history proves that unilateral actions, which by-pass the UN, only create new and serious problems,” the Foreign Minister added.

As for the situation between Georgia and Abkhazia, Ban Ki-Moon said it is a source of great concern to him.

“The dialogue on practical terms, the security situation as well as confidence building measures required by the Security Council is lacking. The UN will continue to assist and facilitate the ongoing dialogue so that this tension could be reduced,” he said.

Sergey Lavrov noted that the joint peacekeeping forces in the disrupted region closely co-operate with the UN mission in Georgia.

“Both the peacekeepers and the UN mission have made the same assessments of the situation in the region and this is reflected in the Secretary General's reports to the Security Council, including his latest one. We share the view that both sides should strictly keep to their obligations according to the decisions of the Security Council, and avoid actions with would undermine these decisions,” Russia’s Foreign Minister pointed out.

Once again Lavrov reiterated that Russia is against the enlargement of the North Atlantic Alliance and sees it as a negative factor in geopoliticals and strategic stability.

“We will try to avoid worsening our relations NATO countries and, at the same time, protect our interests,” he said.

Earlier, Ban Ki-moon had talks with representatives of the largest Russian companies. 24 Russian businesses have signed to the UN global treaty on social responsibility, which is seen as one of the major achievements as business co-operation plays an increasing role in UN peacekeeping missions across the world.

“I had a unique opportunity of meeting business leaders in Russia as part of launching the UN global contract. I was very much impressed by the commitment the business leaders have expressed in co-operatin with the UN to promote the shared values,” the UN head said commenting on the meeting.

The UN head also met with Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia to discuss the creation of the Council for Religious Affairs Russia has been pushing for.

On Wednesday Ban Ki-moon met with both outgoing President Putin and his successor Dmitry Medvedev.