UN chief, British prime minister meet on global challenges

10:18, July 22, 2010      

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday met with British Prime Minister David Cameron and the two leaders exchanged views on "the full range of current global challenges," a Downing Street spokesman said here.

The meeting kicked off on Wednesday evening in Cameron's first visit to the UN Headquarters in New York as the British prime minister.

Cameron arrived in New York by train after a visit to Washington, where he met with U.S. President Barack Obama.

"It was a meeting of minds on the full range of current global challenges," the spokesman said in an emailed message to the press here.

The UN information on the bilateral meeting remains unavailable at the press time.

"The leaders agreed that the current strategy in Afghanistan was right, and that a political surge was an essential part of the next phase of the campaign," the spokesman said.

"We have a very successful conference in Kabul," Ban told Cameron as they shook hands with each other at the beginning of the meeting, referring to the just-concluded International Conference on Afghanistan, the UN television footage showed.

Ban just returned from a trip to Afghanistan, where he co-chaired the major international conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The Kabul conference is the first international gathering on Afghanistan held in the country.

"On global poverty, they agreed that the September Millenium Development Goals Summit was a vital opportunity to get the world back on track to meet its commitments to the most vulnerable on the planet," the Downing Street spokesman said.

In September, the secretary-general is expected to host a summit to review progress and difficulties in reaching the targets of the Millennium Development Goals -- internationally accepted eight goals to be achieved in 2015 to reduce poverty, boost education, check diseases and improve gender equality.

"The prime minister and the secretary-general also discussed the Middle East," the spokesman said. "They urged both Israel and the Palestinians to engage in direct peace talks."

"The prime minister took the opportunity to thank the secretary-general for his invaluable leadership across this agenda," the spokesman added.

Source: Xinhua


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