U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says 2009 is a "make-or-break year" for the United Nations and its member countries.
The secretary-general made the comment Tuesday at a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House.
Mr. Ban says 2009 is a year with "crises on many fronts," including the global economic downturn, climate change, and the humanitarian situation in Darfur, Sudan.
Mr. Obama praised the secretary general, saying Mr. Ban had shown extraordinary leadership.
The president said he wanted to work closely with Ban on global warming, the war in Afghanistan and the situation in Sudan.
Mr. Obama said he impressed upon the secretary general the importance of sending a strong, unified international message to Sudan that it is not acceptable to put the lives of people at risk.