UN chief, German chancellor hold talks in Berlin

2008-07-16 04:07:37 GMT       2008-07-16 12:07:37 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BERLIN, July 15 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks here Tuesday on Sudan, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Kosovo, Iran's nuclear program and other issues.

Addressing reporters after their meeting, Ban expressed thanks to Germany for its "overall cooperation, political, financial and military support to the United Nations."

Ban, who arrived here Tuesday for a two-day visit, also addressed an event organized by Managing Global Insecurity and the Bertelsmann Foundation on the topic of responsible sovereignty, which he called "one of the defining challenges of the 21st century."

In that context, he highlighted the responsibility to protect (RtoP) -- a doctrine adopted by world leaders at the 2005 World Summit that holds states responsible for shielding their own populations from genocide and other major human rights abuses and requires the international community to step in if this obligation is not met.

"If member states can indeed summon the will to act collectively in some cases like this, then others may be deterred from inciting or committing such atrocities," he stated.

"Likewise, if UN rules, procedures, and practices are developed in line with this bold declaration, then there is less likelihood of RtoP principles being used to justify extra-legal interventions for other purposes," he added.

Earlier in the day, Ban met with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in Berlin, with whom he discussed the issue of Cyprus. The UN chief held a similar meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias Monday in Paris.

I have comments _COUNT_