|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
ACTIVITIES OF SECRETARY-GENERAL IN SWITZERLAND , 26-27 FEBRUARY
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrived in Geneva, Switzerland from Doha, Qatar, in the evening of Sunday, 26 February.
The following day he met with President El Hadj Omar Bongo Ondimba of Gabon and President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, for a summit in which the three took stock of the mediation aimed at arriving at a negotiated solution to the two countries’ territorial dispute.
Prior to the three-way meeting, the Secretary-General held separate bilateral meetings with the two Presidents.
The Secretary-General thanked the two Presidents for their support for his mediation efforts, facilitated by his Special Adviser, Yves Fortier. He emphasized that the accomplishments to date demonstrated that the two States can work together to settle their dispute in a peaceful manner.
The parties decided to embark immediately on negotiating the final delimitation of their maritime and land borders. They agreed that a meeting of experts would be held in Geneva on 15 March. A communiqué was issued after that meeting. (See Press Release SG/2107.)
The Secretary-General then spoke to the press at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva. In addition to questions on bird flu, the situation in the Middle East, Kosovo and Iran, he answered questions about the proposed new Human Rights Council. He said that, as the person who put forward the proposals on the Council, there are enough positive elements in the text to move forward. He said that, if one were to get into line-by-line negotiations, it would lead to major delays and cause serious problems. He appealed to Member States to understand that this is not a perfect world, and that he hoped they would approve it in a few days.
Prior to departure, he held separate meetings with the Geneva Staff Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour.
The Secretary-General left that evening for Paris, France.
* *** *For information media • not an official record