18 September 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today discussed issues such as the Middle East peace process and the global economic situation with several world leaders who have arrived in New York for this week’s high-level meetings at the United Nations. In his meeting with Sheikh Naser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Mr. Ban and the Prime Minister of Kuwait reviewed developments in the region, including the Middle East peace process, the evolving situation in Syria and relations between Kuwait and Iraq. The Secretary-General also thanked Kuwait for its role in mobilizing funds for the response to the crisis in the Horn of Africa, and he expressed his appreciation for the significant increase in the country’s contribution to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Mr. Ban reiterated his call for the release of the remaining political prisoners in Myanmar during his meeting with the South-east Asian nation’s Foreign Minister, Wunna Maung Lwin. He also recognized the significance of recent developments in the country and encouraged the Government to step up its reform efforts to bring about an inclusive transition. Mr. Ban and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece, Stavros Lambrinidis, discussed the UN-backed talks aimed at reunifying Cyprus, as well as the status of the negotiations facilitated by the world body between Athens and Skopje to resolve the long-running dispute over the official name of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Preparations for the upcoming senatorial election in the Republic of Congo, the refugee situation and other peace and security developments in the Central Africa sub-region were among the issues discussed in the meeting between the Secretary-General and that country’s Foreign Minister, Basile Ikouebe. Mr. Ban also met with Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), with whom he discussed issues of interest to the Caribbean region, such as climate change, as well as cooperation between the CARICOM Secretariat and the UN system. More than 120 heads of State and government are slated to attend the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly this week, during which a series of high-level meetings on issues ranging from non-communicable diseases and nutrition to nuclear safety and desertification will also be held.