The two leaders exchanged views on key issues in international relations, particularly engaging in a detailed discussion of peace settlement of the Syrian crisis. Vladimir Putin explained Russia’s position on the Syrian conflict to Ban Ki-Moon.
Further, the President of Russia briefed the UN Secretary-General on his contacts with President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron and President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi.
Vladimir Putin and Ban Ki-Moon also exchanged views concerning the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the overall state of affairs in international relations. Both sides stressed their unwavering conviction that international law must lie at the foundation of all peace processes and the settlement of all conflicts.
In addition, the leaders discussed issues pertaining to the development of the United Nations itself.
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Beginning of meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Secretary-General, friends, it is a great pleasure to welcome you to Sochi, the city that will host the next Winter Olympics.
Mr Secretary-General, if I recall rightly, this is your third visit to Russia as UN Secretary-General. We are very happy to see you, the Secretary-General of an organisation that Russia and its partners established together after the end of World War II. Today, as permanent members of the Security Council, we continue to uphold the United Nation’s central role in international affairs.
Mr Secretary-General, we see how much effort you and your colleagues are making to affirm this role and work effectively on resolving the most complex international issues.
The problems that we, and the UN, face are sometimes extremely complicated, and resolving them requires a very careful and professional approach, and respect for the basic principles of international law.
The world has no other such universal organisation. It is a great pleasure to see you here, Mr Secretary-General. I am sure that our discussion today will go over the biggest issues currently on the international agenda, including development of the United Nations itself.
Un Secretary-General BAN KI-MOON: [In Russian] President Putin, I am happy to be in Sochi. Thank you.
[In English] It’s a great honour for me to visit this place. It’s my first visit to Sochi. While coming here, I was very impressed by this magnificent setting. I sincerely hope that while you are receiving the many world leaders, this wonderful setting will inspire many good discussions in advancing world peace, security, and sustainable development for all.
When I last met with you briefly in Mexico at the G20 summit, I counted on your continued leadership and I am sure, I’m confident, that under your leadership, the United Nations and the world at large will benefit a lot.
While there are many, many things that we expect from your leadership, there are at least three main things. The first is the forthcoming G20 summit, next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi and the forthcoming G8 presidency under your leadership.
It’s very encouraging that during the G20 summit meeting in St Petersburg, you’re going to discuss, along with other issues, particularly sustainable development and inclusive economic growth and financial stability. And I’m sure that the G20 leaders will make a great contribution to this.
As the Secretary-General, if I may, I’d like to ask you that the G20 leaders focus on accelerating the Millennium Development Goals and also trying to give us some pretty good direction on sustainable development goals for humanity, particularly this would send a good message to vulnerable people. I really hope that the G20 declaration or joint communiqué may improve some of the strong commitments on these particularly important issues.
Also, I welcome the selection of exploring the positive impact of anti-corruption policies on growth as one of the main themes of the G20. I thank you for hosting the UN Convention against Corruption in 2015.
Mr Yury Fedotov, heading the UNODC [The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; Yury Fedotov is the executive director of the Office], is showing great leadership and commitment, and you should be very proud of him.
The Sochi Olympic Games are a great strength in contributing to peace and development. I hope your government will strive to work with the United Nations General Assembly to pass this Olympic truce resolution. I’m also very much grateful to you for your focus on preparing and hosting the Paralympic Winter Games for the benefits and rights of people living with disabilities. This is a great message to them.
Personally, as a Korean citizen, I hope Sochi will gain success and experience and wisdom and that Pyeongchang Olympics will repeat that success next time.