12월 17일 반기문 유엔사무총장은 연말 유엔연례기자회견에서 2008년을 '복합적인 위기의 해'(the year of multiple crises)라고 규정하고, 2009년은 '기후변화의 해'(the year of climate change)가 될 것이라고 말했다. 특히, 2009년 12월 코펜하겐에서 예정되어 있는 기후변화회의에서 교토의정서를 대체하는 신규 기후변화협약 논의가 마무리되어야 함을 강조하며, 9월에 있을 유엔총회는 '기후변화 정상회의'(Climate Change Summit)로 이끌겠다고 밝혔다.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon holds his annual end of the year press conference. Location: United Nations, New York Date: 17 December 2008


또한 반 총장은 현재 세계가 겪고 있는 각종 주요 위기가 아래와 같다고 강조했다.

  • 미얀마 – the Government was unwilling to deliver on its promises for democratic dialogue and a release of political prisoners.
  • 콩고민주공화국 – UN forces have held the line with bravery under the difficult circumstances but have not been able to protect innocent people from violence.
  • 인권 – “Our record on human rights is on trial in many places, in many ways” as the world marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • 수단 다푸르 – deployment of the joint UN-African Union force has been slower than hoped and still lacks mission-critical assets, including helicopters while renewed fighting and political rivalry makes a political solution difficult.
  • 코소보 – the UN has managed the potentially explosive situation through quiet diplomacy.
  • 식량안보위기 – “We have coped particularly well with one of the year’s most serious challenges. The food crisis no longer dominates news headlines but has not gone away.”
  • 중동평화협상 – Israelis and Palestinians have held intensive negotiations, creating trust where none existed. It is important to keep up momentum so that 2009 could be the year of peace.
  • 이라크 – security has improved. Iraqi leaders must work in a spirit of reconciliation as they assume full responsibility for national affairs and the UN will give the necessary strong support.
  • 짐바브웨 – the humanitarian situation grows more alarming every day yet President Robert Mugabe says the timing is not right to receive a special UN envoy. “If this is not the time, when is?” Mr. Ban asked.
  • 소말리아 – the need to act is clear; the African Union mission should be reinforced and the Security Council’s authorization of international action against pirates on land is welcome.
  • 아프가니스탄 – the humanitarian situation is worsening, insurgent attacks are increasing and a political “surge” and a clear change of direction are required.
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