Thursday, 13 December 2012

Speech: UN Sec. Gen. Deplores N/Korea Rocket Launch

Ban Ki-Moon. UN Sec. Gen.

(Being speech by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the opening of the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) Photo Exhibition in New York on 12 December, 2012)

We are nearing the end of another eventful year together.  In fact, even last night was quite eventful, as you know.  We will have time to discuss serious issues at my year-end press conference, which will be next Wednesday.  We will also have time to laugh and dance that same night at the annual UNCA gala.

But let me just say that I welcome the fact that the Security Council is discussing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  You will have seen my statement.  I really deplore today’s rocket launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  It was all the more regrettable because it defied the unified and strong call from the international community.  It is a clear violation of Security Council resolution 1874 (2009), in which the Council demanded that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea not conduct any launch using ballistic missile technology.

I have been urging the leadership in Pyongyang not to carry out such a launch and instead to build confidence with its neighbours while taking steps to improve the lives of its people.  I am also concerned about the negative consequences that this provocative act may have on peace and stability in the region.  I urge the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to refrain from further provocative actions.  I am in close touch with key countries on this matter, and I will continue to monitor developments closely.

Let me come back to today’s event here.  I have to say this exhibition is becoming a tradition, and I enjoy it.  My schedule is so packed and events move so fast that it is easy to lose sight of where I’ve been and what has happened.  Seeing these images makes me stop and take another, closer look.  The photographs are beautiful, moving, fascinating.  I congratulate the winners.  Most of all, I thank all the photographers, and every single one of you, for covering the United Nations.

We will have some new stories to cover next year.  The return to the Secretariat building  my own office is moving over this coming weekend.  I wish you all well when your move takes place in the coming weeks.  And, of course, there will be the daily excitement and challenge that make the United Nations such an extraordinary place to work and, I hope, for you to cover.

Thank you again for welcoming me here.  My best wishes to you and your families for the holiday season.

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