By United Nations

30 January - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today had a meeting with the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, during which he reaffirmed United Nations' commitment to working closely with the Group of 20 industrialized and emerging economies to generate innovative financing for development.

During the meeting in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Mr. Ban and Mr. Sarkozy also discussed the situation in Côte d'Ivoire, with the French leader welcoming the decision by the African Union Peace and Security Council to set up a high-level panel to help resolve the political deadlock in the West African country.

The Secretary-General expressed hope that a peaceful solution will be found soon that respects the will of the people of Côte d'Ivoire and the principles of the UN charter, according to a statement issued by the spokesperson of the Secretary-General.

Commenting on the recent developments in Lebanon, the Secretary-General voiced concern over the rising tensions there and the threats against the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. He stated that the activities of the Special Tribunal should continue unimpeded, as it is carrying out an independent judicial process that cannot be stopped.

On Haiti, Mr. Ban expressed his strong hope that the Government will accept the recommendations of the Organization of American States regarding the presidential elections. He assured Mr. Sarkozy that the UN is working hard to bring the cholera epidemic in Haiti under control.

The Secretary-General also conferred with the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and welcomed the collaboration between neighbouring African States to bring an end to violence in the region.

Mr. Ban and Mr. Kagame also discussed and agreed on the need for effective measures to bring an end to gender-based violence in conflict situations.