ACTIVITIES OF SECRETARY-GENERAL IN
, 10 - 12 May SWITZERLAND
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrived in
from Geneva on Tuesday morning, 10 May. Moscow
That afternoon he met with President Paul Biya of
, in advance of formal meetings to take place the next day. Cameroon
On Wednesday, before the start of the formal meetings, the Secretary-General had breakfast with President Olusegun Obasanjo of
Later in the morning, at the Palais des Nations, the Secretary-General met for over 90 minutes alone with the two Presidents to review the situation regarding the Bakassi peninsula.
The heads of State, the Secretary-General and their delegations began the official tripartite summit.
Speaking to the press after this meeting which lasted close to two hours, the Secretary-General, President Biya and President Obasanjo addressed the press.
In his opening remarks, the Secretary-General said the meeting had provided a useful opportunity to evaluate the work of the Mixed Commission. That commission was created by the Secretary-General, at the request of the two countries, to find ways to follow up on the 2002 decision by the International Court of Justice regarding the land and maritime border.
The Secretary-General stressed the need for the Commission to continue its work as expeditiously as possible and called on both Presidents to give their full support to ensure the success of the work of the Commission.
During the meeting, it was agreed that a new programme of withdrawal of the Nigerian troops would be worked out and agreed upon by the two Presidents and the Secretary-General.
The Presidents told the Secretary-General of their determination to take all necessary measures to ensure that the welfare and interest of these populations be protected. The Presidents also agreed to continue with the process of the delimitation of the maritime boundary based on the judgement of the International Court of Justice.
Looking back at the progress already made, the Secretary-General commended both Presidents for the smooth transfer of authority that took place along the land border in 2004, as well as for the generally good atmosphere which prevails in the area and the good relations between the population and the new administrative authorities.
At the same press conference, the Secretary-General was also asked about United Nations reform, including his proposal to replace the existing Commission on Human Rights into a smaller Human Rights Council. He said, “I think if we do it, it will help strengthen human rights”, adding that it would work all year and not suffer from selectivity in the matters it considers.
He added that he would expect a new Human Rights Council to be based in
, saying, “Human rights has a very nice home here in Geneva and I don’t see any reason for it to be moved elsewhere.” Geneva
That afternoon, the Secretary-General met with
’s opposition leader, Gilchrist Olympio. Togo
He returned to
on Wednesday, 12 May. New York
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