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The Quest for Peace and Prosperity in the Asia-Pacific and Beyond

Ladies and gentlemen,

While helping the national development of such countries as Korea, the UN itself has also greatly evolved and expanded since its founding more than six decades ago. But its core mission has not changed: to be the world's meeting place, where Member States can identify ways of working together when their interest converge, and of finding negotiated solutions and avoiding conflict when they diverge.

But the UN is at a critical juncture when it must become more effective and relevant in dealing with the new challenges of the post Cold-War era. The global organization is overstretched and fatigued, and often criticized for not delivering on promises made. Meanwhile, the globalizing world of global problems calls for collective responses that can only be forged at the UN. The Organization needs to sharpen its tools and streamline its work. In the process, the active support and participation of the United States is crucial. With its most important member taking the lead, the UN system can and must be revitalized so as to effectively meet the growing expectations of the global community in the 21st century.

Working closely with the United States, the next Secretary-General of the UN will have the chance to take the UN to a new era of effective multilateralism. This, I believe, lies in greater focus on implementation and fulfillment of pledges already made, such as the MDGs, so as to strengthen states and the inter-state system against the new challenges of the 21st century, such as non-state actors with destructive intent.

With humility and sense of duty, I hope to become the one to undertake such a mission. In this regard, I am deeply thankful for the encouraging result of the 2 nd straw poll in the Security Council on September 14. I take it as an indication of the confidence that the Security Council members place in me and my message as a candidate.