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 Home > News & Policies > February 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 15, 2008

President Bush Meets with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon
Oval Office

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10:09 A.M. EST

PRESIDENT BUSH: Mr. Secretary General, welcome back to the White House. Thank you for your efforts to make the United Nations a constructive force for good.

I appreciate your tireless work to help solve some of the real humanitarian crises that we face, such as the crisis in Sudan, the issues in Burma. I appreciate very much your leadership when it came to Kenya. Thank you for going to support former Secretary General Annan.

I thank you very much for the leadership that you've shown in Iraq. This young democracy is beginning to gain confidence and make progress, and the U.N. mission there has been very constructive.

I appreciate very much your desire to help the poor and feed the hungry, and on my trip to Africa this week, that's exactly the same message I'll be taking, that the American people are a compassionate people, a decent people, who want to help moms with -- deal with malaria, and families deal with HIV/AIDS, and the need to feed the hungry.

So I'm honored you're here. I appreciate your vision. And thank you for your leadership and your friendship.

SECRETARY GENERAL BAN KI-MOON: Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen -- thank you very much for your warm welcome and strong support you have shown me during last one year of -- while I was carrying out my duty as Secretary General. It has been instrumental and very much appreciated.

I've been trying my best to make United Nations more trust-proof, transparent, and accounted and more effective organization. This is effort will continue. At the same time, with your strong support and with the international community, I've been doing my best to address all these regional country issues, starting from the situation in Darfur, Lebanon, Myanmar, and also Kenya. There are so many problems that challenge at this time; I'm committed to address these issues.

At the same time, I've been able to again raise awareness, the political will in addressing global challenges such as climate change. And I need your strong support as we are going through this year, a midpoint here, to realize Millennium Development goals by 2015. We are going to focus on food situation and agriculture, education, health, and all this, statistical systems, infrastructure of Africa.

In that regard, your visit to African states at this time will be very important and historic. I hope you are able to discuss with African leaders on how to realize this Millennium Development goals, how to help people overcome abject poverty, and sanitation, and access to educational opportunities.

In that regard, I wish you all success, and this is a very great opportunity. And it would be also very important for the international community to sustain the momentum established by December last year through climate change. I'm going to build up on this -- so that we will be able to achieve this globally accepted framework, replacing the Kyoto Protocol.

The United States is the country with the most ability for technology and financing capacities. I count on your leadership and active participation. I do appreciate your constructive engagement in this, starting from high level meeting in September last year, and the major economies meeting in September in Washington and in Honolulu this year. I count on your leadership.

All in all, I need your strong support, because I believe a strong partnership between the United Nations and United States is the crucial and important element in carrying out my duty as Secretary General, and also making United Nations organization more strengthened in carrying out the common challenges we share together.

Thank you very much, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes, thank you.

END 10:15 A.M. EST