German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy kicked off the second day of the 50th Munich Security Conference. Steinmeier picked up the notion of the first day and urged Germany to make more specific security policy commitments.
"Serious differences" remain between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders over how to reunite their divided island, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday after talks.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged world leaders to lift millions of people out of poverty despite of the global economic downturn. But experts doubt the goals can be met by the 2015 deadline.
Astana has promised to open Kazakhstan’s border with Kyrgyzstan almost one month after the violent regime change in Bishkek. Astana remained reluctant to re-open the border despite numerous pleas from the Kyrgyz. The cost of the closed border was high – Kyrgyz businesses claim millions of dollars in losses. As Chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Kazakhstan has also pledged that it will work on a special strategy to help stabilize Kyrgyzstan.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that Iran's nuclear ambitions are endangering the entire world and called on the international community to hold Tehran accountable.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad campaigned in Uganda and Zimbabwe. Behind the scenes, his flunkies twisted arms and offered favors. For weeks, feelers were sent out to all kinds of unlikely allies. What was the diplomatic prize at stake? Nothing less than a seat on the United Nations council on human rights.
On March 18, in Moscow, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s (CSTO) Secretary-General, Nikolay Bordyuzha, signed a declaration on cooperation between the two secretariats. The document, and the UN’s steps preceding it, can be interpreted as UN recognition of this Russian-led bloc in the “post-Soviet space.” The Russian side will doubtlessly construe the UN’s blessing as a full and unambiguous recognition of the CSTO (Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan).
Russia no longer needs to veto the U.N. Security Council's (UNSC) resolution on the mandate of U.N. observers in Georgia, which expires on June 15. Intimidated by Moscow's veto threats, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and some key UNSC members have bowed to Russian demands and agreed to change key wording in the Secretary-General's report that recommends a new mandate for the observers.
The second Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations will be held on 6-7 April 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey.