Ban Ki-Moon urges Israel to freeze settlement activity

At his end of year conference in New York UN secretary-general says progress made in Iraq, Afghanistan but warns of challenges in ME.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 17, 2010 22:24
1 minute read.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

ban ki moon in bishkek 311. (photo credit: AP)

 
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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday urged Israelis and Palestinians to engage seriously and be forthcoming on substance and reiterated Israel’s obligation to freeze all settlement activity, including in East Jerusalem.

In his end-of-year “state of the world” news conference in New York Ban called 2010 “a big year for the United Nations,” with progress on issues from biodiversity to electoral support in Iraq and Afghanistan, but warned of challenges ahead in Sudan, the Middle East and other world flashpoints.

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“Looking ahead, our challenge is to carry our progress forward,” he said of the agenda for 2011, which he will lay out more fully next month. “Resources are tighter. Demands on the UN are growing. This requires us to focus more on prevention, preparedness, being proactive, being persistent, all within a framework that is transparent and accountable.”

The UN will also seek progress on many of the longer-term challenges, Mr. Ban said, including peace on the Korean Peninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue, and helping to reunify Cyprus in a bi-zonal, bi-communal country with a Turkish Cypriot Constituent State and a Greek Cypriot Constituent State of equal status.

Looking back on 2010, Mr. Ban cited progress made on the UN anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which seek to slash a host of social ills by 2015.

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