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UN secretary general optimistic about Obama presidency

world Updated: Jan 22, 2009 11:09 IST

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday expressed confidence and optimism about the new US President Barack Obama, citing his commitment to addressing the "multiple crises of food, energy and human development".

"It is with great optimism that I congratulate Barack Obama on his inauguration as the 44th President of the United States," Ban said in a statement.

During the presidency of George W Bush, the UN grappled frequently with Bush's unilateral moves, including the invasion of Iraq and Bush's refusal to cooperate with moves to constrain global warming.

Citing the challenges of economic uncertainty and climate change, Ban noted that Obama had been explicit in his inaugural speech on Tuesday about tackling the crises.

Obama spoke of the need to "harness the sun, the winds and soil to fuel our cars and run our factories" and "make farms flourish and let clean water flow to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds", Ban said, quoting from the speech.

"This is also the work of the United Nations. Our goals are shared," Ban said, adding he looked forward to "a new era of strong and effective partnership".