Ban Ki-Moon: I am willing to take any measures for human rights
UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon discusses intervention in Libya, the situation in Yemen and Syria, and the argument between Bahrain and Iran. He reiterates Israel's human rights violations and the importance of the peace process. He speaks finally of his hopes for the Arab region.
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Ban Ki-Moon: Here, too, I have been urging the leaders to listen to the aspirations and challenges of their own people, and engage in dialogue and take very bold measures. Normally, to their regret, these measures and bold reforms come too late, too little.Skip to next paragraph
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Ban Ki-Moon: Not yet. I am closely following the situation. I have been preoccupied with the Libyan situation.
Dergham: Do you plan to?
Ban Ki-Moon: Let us see. I am willing to take any measures when it comes to the fundamental principle of human rights.
I have been vocal against Israel's policies
Dergham: Critics say you have been outspoken about the democratic process in the Arab world, but you have been rather lenient with the Israelis in terms of confronting them on Palestinian rights. Is that unfair to you?
Ban Ki-Moon: It is unfair. I have been very vocal against Israel and their settlement policies and their lack of cooperation in the Middle East peace process. I am deeply concerned by the lack of progress of the Middle East process.
But at the same time, I have been urging a clear position of the United Nations that whatever is happening in that part of the world in terms of democratic wind should not affect the ongoing peace process in the Middle East.
Now it seems to be the case that Israel has been concerned and watching very carefully what has happened in Egypt and what may happen in Jordan and the neighboring area. I have been urging this should be separate, and the peace process should continue on its own purpose and merit.
Dergham: As a man who believes in human rights, do you believe that continued occupation is a violation of human rights of the individuals under occupation?
Ban Ki-Moon: The United Nations has made it quite clear that it [occupation] is against international law.