ACTIVITIES OF SECRETARY-GENERAL IN
, 7 - 9 September MEXICO
Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrived in
in the evening of Tuesday, 7 September. He was met at the airport by Minister Patricia Olamendi Torres, Under-Secretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, and Ambassador Raphael Steger, Director-General of Protocol. Mexico City
Upon his arrival, the Secretary-General met President Vicente Fox and Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez at Los Piños Presidential Palace. Among the issues they discussed were
’s contribution to multilateralism, its role in training Iraqi electoral commissioners and its support of the peace process in Mexico . They also discussed the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, the state of democracy in Colombia Latin Americaand the fight against poverty and HIV/AIDS. Following this meeting, President Fox hosted a dinner with senators, businessmen, academics and media representatives.
The following morning the Secretary-General addressed the “International Seminar on Democracy, Politics and the State”, which was opened by President Fox, the Secretary-General, Foreign Minister Derbez, and Mark Malloch Brown, the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Also present at the event were former presidents Belisario Betancourt of
, Valentín Paniagua of Colombia , Felipe González of Peru and Julio Maria Sanguinetti of Spain . Efforts to make Uruguay Latin America’s societies more democratic will also help to make them more developed and more stable was the Secretary-General’s message to participants at the seminar, which was jointly organized by the Government of Mexico and the United Nations Development Programme.
In his statement, the Secretary-General said
Latin Americahad built a fine democratic tradition and was managing its social confrontations within constitutional frameworks but, he added, democracy had still not responded to the aspirations of the region’s poor. The aim, he said, must be for every Latin American country to become not just an electoral democracy, but a citizens’ democracy. See Press Release SG/SM/9467.
Following the opening of the Seminar, the Secretary-General met with the press before going on to meet members of the Senate Foreign Affairs Commission.
Asked about the state of democracies in
Latin America, he said that democracy meant more than elections. “We need to be able to look into other needs of the citizens, particularly the least privileged, their civil, social and political rights”, he added.
Asked about the threat of nations taking unilateral action against terrorist groups, he said he believed in countries working together to pool their efforts and share information about terrorism. “We need to come up with ways and means of fighting terrorism effectively, but we also have to make sure that these approaches do not undermine the rule of law and basic civil rights of all people”, he added.
After his press encounter, the Secretary-General went to the Senate building where he was welcomed by the President of the Senate, Diego Fernández de Cevallos and members of the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Commission. He heard statements by Senator Gloria Lavara Mejía of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico, Senator Armando Chavarría Barrera of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), Senator Jorge Zermeño Infante of the National Action Party (PAN) and Senator Enrique Jackson Ramírez of the Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI). The Secretary-General said that parliamentarians played a vital role in world affairs, for they were the link between the local and the global. He noted
’s important role in multilateralism, its valuable contribution during its tenure in the Security Council, and its support to the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. He also expressed the hope that Mexico would consider participating in peacekeeping operations. Mexico
The Secretary-General then attended a lunch with Mexican opinion-makers hosted by the Foreign Minister, Luis Ernesto Derbez. In the afternoon, he met with the United Nations Country team and greeted some 100 United Nations staff members working in
. Mexico City
The Secretary-General wrapped up his visit to
on Wednesday afternoon, meeting with the President of the Council of Mexico’s Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), Luis Carlos Ugalde Ramírez, and other members of the Institute, whom he thanked for the support they provided in July 2004 in training Mexico City ’s new electoral commissioners. He said Iraq had made remarkable progress in the electoral arena in recent years and had much valuable experience to share with other nations. Mexico
Mr. Annan departed
on Thursday morning. Mexico City
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