ACTIVITIES OF SECRETARY-GENERAL IN LESOTHO, 28-29 AUGUST
The Secretary-General flew from Botswana to Lesotho on Wednesday morning,
Upon arrival in Maseru, he took a short helicopter tour of the Mohale Dam and then met in Mohale with Prime Minister Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili. They discussed the recent elections in Lesotho, as well as the two crises -– of food shortages and AIDS -– that are facing the country.
Speaking about the AIDS crisis, the Secretary-General noted that Lesotho was spending 2 per cent of its national budget to treat victims of the epidemic, and he pledged the United Nations’ help in tackling the crisis.
They also held a ceremony to launch the International Year of Mountains, with the Secretary-General planting an olive tree in the mountainous region while rain poured down. (See the Secretary-General’s message in press release SG/SM/8348 of 28 August.)
Later in the afternoon, the Secretary-General returned to Maseru, where he met with His Majesty King Letsie III, while Nane Annan met with the Queen of Lesotho.
The Secretary-General then addressed a joint session of the nation’s Parliament. He congratulated the people of Lesotho for the elections held last May and underscored the importance of education and the empowerment of women. Returning to the AIDS crisis, he noted that 30 per cent of the nation’s population between the ages of 15 and 49 were estimated to be HIV-positive (see press release SG/SM/8349 of 28 August).
Later, after a press encounter, the Secretary-General witnessed the
renaming of a road in the capital, from Maseru Bypass to Kofi Annan Road. He asked anyone using that road from now on to drive carefully.
That evening, the Secretary-General attended a banquet in his honour hosted by King Letsie.
The Secretary-General left Lesotho for Mozambique early in the morning of Thursday, 29 August.
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