UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at Millenium Film Festival preview in Brussels

Apr 2, 2014

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking during the Millenium Film Festival preview (Brussels, 2 April). Photo: UN/Evan Schneider

On 2 April, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon attended a preview of the sixth edition of the Millenium Film Festival to be held in Brussels over the next few days. Mr. Ban Ki-moon was joined for the occasion by the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, and over 110 staff of the United Nations in Brussels.

The film screened at the event was ‘La Alfombra Roja’ (‘The Red Carpet’), a short documentary directed by Spanish directors Manuel Fernández and Iosu López. It tells the story of Rubina, a 12-year old girl from Garib Nagar slum, in Mumbai, who aims to become an actress and change the slum into a more clean and habitable place. In India, 158 million people live in slums in very unhealthy conditions. Garib Nagar is one of those slums. The documentary will be screened during this year’s edition of the Millennium Festival and has been already awarded in various film festivals in Spain.

At the event, Mr. Ban Ki-moon received an honorary award from the Festival organizers for the long-standing support from the UN for this independent initiative. Since its first edition in 2009, the Festival has raised awareness among the public and the youth about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and sustainable development. The first five editions of the Festival received wide coverage by European and international media.

Mr. Ban Ki-moon commended the organizers of this unique festival that “encourages people to perceive the MDGs beyond targets and figures for what they really about: The quest for a dignified life for all humanity”. The UN Secretary-General also underlined that a good documentary “has a magic power and can convey messages in a powerful and graphic way”. He also encouraged the attendees to the event and the public at large to rally and mobilise in support of the MDGs.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is visiting Brussels from 1 to 3 April, to participate at the EU-Africa Summit (2-3 April) and an International Conference on the Prevention of Genocides (31 March-1 April). He is also having bilateral discussions with senior EU and Belgian officials, and various Heads of States, particularly form Africa. Mr. Ban Ki-moon is also participating at a public debate hosted by the Brussels-based think-thank “Friends of Europe’ focused on mobilizing action on climate change and progress towards a new international climate agreement.