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At G20 summit, UN chief to focus on ways to settle Syrian conflict

September 04, 2013, 1:37 UTC+3

The UN chief emphasized that the instability in Syria and in the entire region is not to the benefit of anyone's interests

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UNITED NATIONS, September 4 (Itar-Tass) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told journslidts on Tuesday before leaving New York that at the G20 summit, which opens in St Petersburg on Thursday, he, together with world leaders, intends to look for a solution to the tragedy in Syria, paying attention to the task of giving humanitarian aid to more than two million refugees and to 4.2 million Syrians who found themselves to be displaced persons in their own country.

The UN chief emphasized that the instability in Syria and in the entire region is not to the benefit of anyone's interests. In this connection he called on regional and international players to resume efforts towards convening a Geneva-2 conference at an earliest date in line with accords reached between the Russian Federation and the United States way back in May. It is essential to put an end to that war, Ban Ki-moon said in conclusion.

The UN Secretary-General is due to arrive in St Petersburg on Wednesday morning. His spokesman Martin Nesirky said Tuesday that while in St Petersburg, Ban Ki-moon intends to hold a number of bilateral meetings with several world leaders. With whom exactly the UN chief intends to meet has not been specified. Within the framework of the official programme for his visit to Russia, Ban Ki-moon is also scheduled to deliver a lecture at St Petersburg State University on the theme of "The UN and Youth". The lecture is to be given at 15:30 on Wednesday, points out a report at the University's official website.

The UN chief's letter to participants in the forum was made public at the UN headquarters last Friday. He urged them to strengthen national programmes aimed at creating job opportunities and supporting economic growth.

"At the Saint Petersburg G20 Summit, your leadership will be critical for strengthening global economic recovery and our collective work towards building a more sustainable, just and prosperous world for all," the Administrative Head of the United nNations wrote.

He stressed that the slowdown in economic growth rate should not serve as a justification for a revision by countries of their financial obligations within the framework of efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals. These envisage a considerabl decrease in child mortality rate by 2015, a reduction in poverty, and the ensurance of universal access to education.

This year Russia presides over the Group of 20 -- the leading international cooperation forum on the most imporatant aspects of the international economic and financial agenda.

The Heads of State of 20 member-countries, the leaders of seven major economic organizations, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, as well as six leaders of Invited Countries, among them Kazakhstan, Singapore, and Ethiopia, are expected to attend the G20 summit which is due to be held in St Petersburg from September 5 to 6.

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