UN calls for ASEAN support on post-2015 development

Updated: 2014-11-12 22:22


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NAY PYI TAW - UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon on Wednesday expressed his support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members and called on them to back a post-2015 development agenda to follow on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set out decades ago.

"2015 will be a crucial year for the international community to usher in a new era of sustainable development as we reach agreement on a post-MDG agenda and its financing," he told the 6th ASEAN-UN summit in the Myanmar capital.

Recapping the challenges faced by humanity around the world, the UN chief insisted that countries have to come together even stronger to address manmade and natural disasters, as well as push through a tough treaty on climate change.

"We are looking for a strong agreement on climate change, a 2- degree increase in global temperature poses a significant threat to many countries including coastal towns in this region."

Taking a slightly tougher tone, Ban also noted that human rights abuses and intolerance, especially discrimination of minorities and violence against women, were on the increase in the region and called on ASEAN to strengthen frameworks to deal with these challenges.

"The UN stands ready to walk with ASEAN and its member states to strengthen national capacity to protect human rights, provide justice and promote accountability," he added.

The UN chief also urged ASEAN governments to empower civil society organizations and allow them to function competently to contribute to sustainable development.

Ban praised reforms in Myanmar, noting that the presidential elections expected to be held next year would leave the country facing "critical benchmarks" on international standards of democracy.

"The government and people of Myanmar can count on the support of the United Nations as they continue the process of democratization, development and national reconciliation," he said.