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Significant progress in UN reforms: Barack Obama

Without any reference to the pending reform of the Security Council, US President Barack Obama has said significant progress has been made towards UN reforms.

Washington: Without any reference to the pending reform of the Security Council, US President Barack Obama has said significant progress has been made towards the reforms of the United Nations.

Following his meeting with the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, at the Oval Office of the White House on Thursday, Obama praised the latter`s efforts in this regard.

"The Secretary General has actually shown significant progress in UN reform -- making the institution more efficient, more effective," he said, noting that there is more work to do on that front and Ban is making an earnest effort in making progress.

"We very much appreciate that and encourage that to continue, because we think we need a strong, healthy United Nations, but at a time when all the member countries are under severe fiscal constraints, we want to make sure, obviously, that the United Nations is operating as efficiently as possible," Obama said.

"The Secretary General has been quoted as saying that there is no opt-out clause to the great challenges that we face around the world, and I assured him that the United States of America, as the largest economy and the most powerful military in the world, has no intention of opting out any time soon," he said.

The United States, he said, has a deep interest in making sure that the United Nations and the various international institutions function effectively, as when they does the US and its allies also do well.

"Sometimes people ask why the United States is so devoted to the United Nations, and, obviously, beyond the fact that we helped set up the United Nations, what was true 60, 70 years ago is still true today," he said.

"And that is that without a forum for discussion, negotiation, and diplomacy, the world is a worse place, and it is very much in the United States` interests to ensure that international norms, rules of the road, and humanitarian norms are observed," Obama said.

The two leaders among other things also discussed the issue of climate change.
"On climate change, I intend to work very closely with the member states so that the legally binding global treaty can be achieved by the end of 2015. And for that possible -- to facilitate this process, I intend to convene a leaders meeting sometime next year. I have invited President Obama. I invited him to play a very important leadership role for humanity," Ban said.

"We also had an opportunity to talk more broadly about an issue that affects every country, and that is climate change. And I appreciate very much the Secretary General`s leadership on that front," Obama said.


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