Asia progress critical to confronting global threats

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at ASEAN summit in Malaysia. UN Photo: Mark Garten.

Progress in Asia is "all the more critical now" as the world copes with climate change, violent extremism, poverty and other threats, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told regional leaders on Sunday.

Mr Ban was addressing a summit held by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur.

He underlined that these concerns can only be tackled through international collaboration.

Dianne Penn reports.

The Secretary-General said upheaval in Syria and the Middle East, the global refugee crisis and terrorist attacks, challenge our common humanity.

Regional and global issues also are more connected than ever.

He said these issues—which include climate change and poverty—can be confronted through dialogue and burden-sharing.

With Asia's population comprising more than half of the planet, Mr Ban said progress there is even more critical in the face of what he called these "grave threats."

The UN chief urged leaders to work together to overcome division and achieve the recently adopted Sustainable Development Agenda aimed at creating what he called "lives of dignity" for all people.

Turning to regional issues, Mr Ban welcomed the recent resumption of talks between China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

The agenda included their wartime past, forging economic ties and the nuclear programme in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The UN chief also expressed hope that engagement between the Republic of Korea and the DPRK would continue, with the eventual goal of reunification.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’12″

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