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American Jewish Committee Has Important Role To Play Across United Nations Agenda, Says Secretary-General In Message To Its Annual Dinner


Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonís video message to the 101st annual dinner of the American Jewish Committee in Washington, D.C., 3 May:

It is an honour to send greetings to the American Jewish Committee and the Jacob Blaustein Institute. Above all, I thank you for your important contribution to our shared mission of promoting human dignity.

In these early months of my tenure as Secretary-General, I have focused my efforts on four priority areas.

First, I have sought to address the top geopolitical crises of the day -- in particular the tragedy in Darfur and diplomatic efforts on several fronts in the Middle East, including Iraq, Lebanon and, of course, the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Second, I am determined to reform the United Nations. This means putting peacekeeping on a more solid footing, since we now have more peace operations and more personnel in the field than at any time in our history. Reform also means improving management and strengthening accountability and transparency.

Third, the United Nations must deliver hope to those most in need. If the world is to reach the Millennium Development Goals by the target date of 2015, we need concerted action in 2007. Decent lives for millions of people are at stake. So is international peace and security.

Fourth and finally, I am concerned that international efforts to combat climate change are falling short. I will do my utmost to mobilize a truly global response to this global problem.

The American Jewish Committee has an important role to play across this agenda. I also attach great importance to strengthening the relationship between the United Nations and Israel. I view Israel as a full member of the community of Member States, with the same rights and obligations as any other. Israel also has a wealth of experience to offer the Organization, and much to gain by participating in the UNís efforts for peace, development, and human rights.

I look forward to working together with the American Jewish Committee. I know you will be a good partner to the United Nations in the years ahead.


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