25 August 2008United Nations reform, climate change and food security have topped the agenda during official talks today in Seoul between General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim and Han Seung-soo, the Republic of Korea’s Prime Minister. In his talks with Mr. Han, Mr. Kerim stressed the “need for more of the UN, and not less” in dealing with major global challenges such as climate change and the current crisis over soaring food prices in many parts of the world.Mr. Kerim also emphasized the importance of bringing in all stakeholders, including non-State actors, in devising ways to tackle global problems, according to the Assembly President’s spokesperson.During their discussions, Mr. Kerim and Mr. Han also conferred on the most recent developments concerning possible reform of the size and structure of the Security Council, and the Assembly President thanked the Republic of Korea for its supportive approach to the UN’s work.Later, Mr. Kerim delivered a lecture to the Graduate School of International Studies of the Korea University on the relevance of the UN in a globalized world, saying a new culture of international relations was needed to reflect the increasing interdependence in the world.“We need to capture the dynamism and fluidity of our changing world, where adaptability and sustainability are becoming the attributes of power and success,” he said.The Assembly President, who arrived in Seoul yesterday for a three-day visit, also held a working lunch with members of the UN Association of the Republic of Korea. Tomorrow he is expected to visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and hold official meetings with President Lee Myung-bak and Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan.
It said the government must strive and expedite the construction of remaining houses in a time-bound manner.The report also said the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) University is yet to have its own campus, hostel and a standardized curriculum in place, library and books for issuance to students and urged the ministry to expeditiously work upon the construction so that the university can shift to its own campus. However the committee said it has been asking the ministry that all proposed projects including building of 50,000 houses should be completed within a specific timeline. “The Committee, however, has observed that no timeline is being followed in any of the proposed projects perhaps due to bureaucratic delays and lack of cooperation.” An Indian parliamentary panel has criticized the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) over its “slow progress” in the resettlement work in Sri Lanka.The Standing Committee on External Affairs, which presented its report on demands for grants of the ministry for 2012-13 in parliament on Tuesday, observed that the Indian government was spending a substantial amount on rehabilitation of internally displaced persons in Sri Lanka by way of constructing houses, schools, hospitals, roads etc. It recommended more funds for Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and expressed concern over “poor planning and slow progress” of the Nalanda University project.