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Ban Ki-Moon Urged South America to Play an Even Greater Role in the United Nations

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20 June 2011|Press Release

The Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Bárcena, was part of the delegation that accompanied the leader of the United Nations.


Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas, Ban Ki-moon, junto a la Presidenta de Brasil, Dilma Rousseff.
Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas, Ban Ki-moon, junto a la Presidenta de Brasil, Dilma Rousseff.
Foto: Roberto Stuckert Filho/PR, gentileza Gobierno de Brasil

(20 June 2011) According to United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, speaking during his tour of Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil that ended on Friday 17 June "I am convinced that the region can play an even bigger role in the United Nations, and the UN can play a bigger role in the region".

His entourage included the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Bárcena, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Catherine Bragg, and Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Óscar Fernández-Taranco, as well as the Regional Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Heraldo Muñoz.         

During the trip that began on Friday 10 in Colombia, the leader of the United Nations highlighted the contribution of South American countries to key issues on the global agenda, such as human rights protection, democratic transition, peacekeeping operations and the fight against poverty and climate change.

The Secretary-General was received by Presidents Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia;  Cristina Fernández of Argentina; José Mujica of Uruguay; and Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, as well as by other national authorities. He also met with civil society representatives and United Nations staff in each country.

During the final leg of the tour in Brazil, Ban Ki-moon met with the Foreign Affairs Minister, Antonio Patriota, and leader of the Senate, José Sarney, and leader of the Chamber of Deputies, Marco Maia.

Ban Ki-moon stated that President Rousseff will be the first woman in the history of the United Nations to open the General Assembly's annual high-level General Debate in New York in September.

The Brazilian leader expressed her wish to see an increased participation by citizens from developing countries (and Brazil in particular) in United Nations bodies.

The UN Secretary-General welcomed the growing role that Brazil was playing on the regional and global stage, and expressed appreciation for Brazil's efforts to promote regional integration, South-South cooperation and disarmament.

The Secretary-General and the Brazilian Government also discussed UN Security Council reform and the organization of the forthcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, due to be held from 4 to 6 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro. According to Ban Ki-moon, the Summit, known as Rio+20, is one of the priorities of the United Nations, and he said he had Brazil's support in this matter.

Speaking in Brazil, the Secretary-General also said "I'm also looking forward to working very closely with UNSAUR, in addition to several regional organizations, including the Organization of American States, Mercosur and CARICOM and many regional and subregional organizations here".

The Secretary-General also expressed the gratitude of the United Nations to Brazil for its important role in peacekeeping operations, particularly in Haiti.

Following in the footsteps of the Governments of Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay, Brazil announced its support for the re-election of Ban Ki-moon as UN Secretary-General for another five years.

 Any queries should be addressed to the ECLAC Public Information and Web Services Section. E-mail:; Tel.: (56 2) 210 2040.

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