Vienna, 10 October 2006 - "The clear UN Security Council vote for Ban Ki-Moon as the new Secretary-General of the United Nations underlines the great trust placed by the community of states in his abilities," said Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik today following the Security Council’s clear recommendation to the UN General Assembly concerning its support for the candidacy of the South -Korean Foreign Minister as new Secretary-General. "We assume that the General Assembly will accept this recommendation and elect Ban as Kofi Annan’s successor. We are pleased that in the course of the coming years the world organization will be headed by Foreign Minister Ban, who is a declared friend of Austria and Vienna," continued Plassnik.
The Foreign Minister recently met with her South -Korean counterpart on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York. "I used our meeting in New York to discuss with my colleague the importance of Vienna as the only UN headquarters in the European Union. Diplomatic affairs in Vienna focus on security issues, from the International Atomic Energy Agency to the OSCE. Ban Ki-Moon is familiar with these issues from personal experience. For him, the UN headquarters in Vienna is not something to be learnt about but a matter of course," said Ursula Plassnik.
Ban Ki-Moon was also fully aware of the importance of close interrelations between the EU and the United Nations, continued Plassnik.
At her meeting with Ban Ki-Moon the Foreign Minister had also addressed the dialogue among religions and cultures as an urgent thematic challenge for the United Nations. It was now necessary to be more specific, both within the United Nations and at regional and national level.
"Here many doors still need to be opened and awareness needs to be raised. Vienna has a mental advantage in this issue as regards location, which I explained to Ban Ki-Moon as the probable next UN Secretary-General," said Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik.
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