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Srgjan Kerim Ends S America Visit With Brazil Stop

General Assembly President wraps up South America visit with stop in Brazil

6 August 2008 - The President of the General Assembly held discussions on climate change, development and the food crisis with officials in Brazil, the last stop on a three-nation visit to South America that also took him to Chile and Argentina.

Srgjan Kerim met yesterday in the capital, Brasilia, with the Brazilian Minister of External Relations, Celso Amorim, with whom he discussed some of the most pressing issues on the UN agenda, including climate change, the global food crisis and development.

The two leaders also discussed the importance of regional integration efforts, such as UNASUR, for the future development of the international system. They both recognized the need to strengthen multilateral institutions, with the UN at its core, and agreed on the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including of its Security Council.

In a lecture delivered at the Brazilian diplomatic academy, Mr. Kerim reiterated the call he made last week in Chile for a new culture of international relations based on the empowerment of the individual.

He highlighted the contributions of Brazil to the history of the UN and the important role of the country in shaping the future of the Organization in his address to the gathering, which also included the UN Resident Coordinator in Brazil, Kim Bolduc, and other representatives of the UN Country Team.

During his stay in Brazil, Mr. Kerim also visited São Paulo, where he met representatives of the Brazilian business community, who stressed the need to increase the involvement of the business community in UN affairs, particularly in finding solutions to complex global problems such as climate change.

In this context, they recognized that public-private partnerships are essential for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - the set of anti-poverty targets world leaders have pledged to try to achieve by 2015.

The Assembly President also met with representatives of the sugar cane sector in Brazil, and learned about the latest developments in biofuel technology and the opportunities in terms of increasing energy production and developing cleaner energy.

Mr. Kerim arrived in Brazil from Argentina, where his programme included a meeting with the President of the Senate and Vice-President of Argentina, Julio Cobos, and a working luncheon with the Minister of External Relations, Jorge Taiana.

They discussed a range of issues, including climate change, food security, regional integration and UN reform, with Mr. Kerim stressing the important role played by Argentina at the UN as one of its founding nations. The active participation of the country in peacekeeping operations, particularly in the UN mission in Haiti, was also highlighted.

While in Argentina, the Assembly President also participated in a conference at the Argentine Council for International Relations (CARI), where he spoke about the importance of building effective multilateralism to face up to the current global challenges, and, in this regard, the need to strengthen the UN.

Mr. Kerim also met with the UN Country Team and briefed the staff on the current status of the consultations on UN reform at Headquarters in New York. The UN Resident Coordinator, Carlos Martinez, briefed the President on the work of the UN in Argentina, and the challenges and opportunities for the Organization in middle-income countries.

ENDS

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