26 September 2006

Secretary-General, in Remarks at Ibero-American Dinner, Expresses "Delight" at Group's Support for Proposed Global Forum on Migration, Development

NEW YORK, 25 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's remarks at the Ibero-American dinner in New York, on 22 September:

I am delighted to be with all of you tonight.  This gathering is a welcomed example of the United Nations' growing relationships with regional and other intergovernmental organizations.

In recent years, we, in the UN, have grown to appreciate the need to work with regional and other groupings in a better structured, more efficient way.  We are building channels to share information, expertise and resources more effectively.  And, we want to interact in ways that recognize the diversity of these organizations, avoiding a one-size-fits all approach.

The fact that you have established a Secretariat of the Ibero-American Conference will surely help strengthen cooperation between us.  And I welcome the appointment of Enrique Iglesias -- a good friend of the UN and of mine -- as Secretary-General of the Ibero-American Conference.

Individually, many of your countries are already playing a crucial role in strengthening and renewing the United Nations -- from membership in the new Peacebuilding Commission and Human Rights Council to participating in our peacekeeping operations around the world -- including in Haiti, one of the most challenging situations in the Americas.

Now, as an organization, you are starting to tackle issues that both our institutions will need to address seriously in the future -- including one that is crying out for global discussion and cooperation:  international migration.

More countries are now involved in, and affected by, this phenomenon than at any time in history.  Its impact on developing nations is profound -- not least in your region.  I am delighted that your summit in November will be devoted to the subject of migration and development -- one that I, too, have made one of my priorities as UN Secretary-General.  Given the advanced thinking in your region on this topic, your organization has a great deal to contribute.

On that score, I am delighted that several of you have embraced my proposal for a Global Forum on Migration and Development, and asked me to help set it up.  Such a Forum can foster practical, evidence-based cooperation among Governments, and I look forward to hearing your voice in it.

Across the board, I look forward to ever stronger ties between our organizations.  I thank every one of your for the partnership we have enjoyed during the 10 years that I have served as Secretary-General of the United Nations.  I could not have done it without your support.  I wish you continued success on your journey.

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