Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today commended the efforts undertaken in Ecuador to consolidate democracy following last year’s unrest, while also lauding advances related to indigenous issues, human rights and the environment.
Speaking at a joint press conference with President Rafael Correa in the capital, Quito, Mr. Ban said he had come to show support for Ecuador when it is still recovering from the events of 30 September.
Mr. Correa had to be taken to the hospital at that time after being hit by tear gas during a demonstration in Quito related to Government measures aimed at cutting some benefits for public servants such as police officers.
“At the time, I expressed my support for Ecuador’s democratic institutions and its elected Government. I am here now to stand with the Government and people of Ecuador,” Mr. Ban stated.
“I trust that with dialogue, Ecuador will continue to strengthen its institutions… advance development… and forge solidarity.”
He saluted Mr. Correa’s efforts to bring stability to the country since taking office four years ago, as well as the country’s engagement on human rights, stating that its open invitation to UN human rights experts is a “model” for other countries to follow.
On the environment, the Secretary-General congratulated Ecuador on the Yasuni-ITT initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and said he looked forward to seeing what more the country will do to build on the climate change momentum generated by last year’s conference in Cancún, Mexico.
Mr. Ban also discussed many of those issues in a meeting with Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino that also covered developments in the Middle East, including in Egypt and Tunisia, and the improved relations between Ecuador and Colombia.
The Secretary-General will travel this evening to Peru, where he will meet with President Alan Garcia on Tuesday.