|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
ACTIVITIES OF SECRETARY-GENERAL IN URUGUAY, 1-5 NOVEMBER
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan departed for Montevideo, Uruguay, on Wednesday, 1 November, in order to attend the sixteenth Ibero-American Summit, which would begin on Friday.
On the morning of Friday, 3 November, the Secretary-General met Enrique Iglesias, the Secretary-General of the Ibero-American Secretariat. He, then, met with staff from the United Nations Country Team in Uruguay before attending the inauguration of the expanded United Nations offices there.
In the afternoon, the Secretary-General met with the His Majesty, King Don Juan Carlos I, and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Prime Minister of Spain. He followed this meeting with separate meetings with the Latin American branch of the World Jewish Congress and a delegation from “Afro Mundo”, made up of leaders of indigenous peoples and African descendants in Latin America.
That evening, the Secretary-General attended the opening ceremony of the Ibero-American Summit. In his address to the Summit, he highlighted the challenge of entrenched inequality, the need for fair distribution of the gains from international trade and the importance of the upcoming Global Forum on International Migration and Development. (See press release SG/SM/10715.)
He detailed the ways in which that Forum, which he had proposed as a way to continue the debate that began with last month’s United Nations High-Level Dialogue on migration, can help mark a sea change in how Governments deal with that issue.
After the Summit’s opening, the Secretary-General held a tête-à-tête meeting with Tabaré Vázquez, the President of Uruguay. This was followed by a dinner hosted by President Vázquez, in honour of the Secretary-General and attended by the Heads of States attending the Ibero-American Summit.
On Saturday, 5 November, the Secretary-General held a series of bilateral meetings with Néstor Carlos Kirchner, President of Argentina; Aníbal António Cavaco Silva, President of Portugal; Alfredo Palacio, President of Ecuador; Carlos Alberto Alvarez, President of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR); Celso Luiz Nunes Amorim, Foreign Minister of Brazil; and Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank.
In the afternoon, the Secretary-General attended a group interview with journalists from the leading newspapers of the region before heading back to United Nations Headquarters in New York on Saturday evening. He arrived in New York on Sunday morning.
* *** *For information media • not an official record