|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
ACTIVITIES OF SECRETARY-GENERAL IN AUSTRIA, 22-24 FEBRUARY
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon travelled from Berlin, Germany, to Vienna, Austria, early on Thursday, 22 February.
He held a meeting with Austrian Foreign Minister, Ursula Plassnik, and then had a joint press encounter.
He then had a working luncheon hosted by the Foreign Minister, which was attended by the Foreign Ministers of Hungary, Slovenia, the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic and Poland. They discussed regional concerns, including Kosovo, Iran and the Middle East.
Also on his schedule that day was a meeting with Austrian President Heinz Fischer, Federal Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer and Barbara Prammer, Speaker of Parliament.
On Friday morning, the Secretary-General had a breakfast meeting with Martti Ahtisaari, his Special Envoy for the Future Status Process for Kosovo.
He then met with Antonio Maria Costa and Principals of the Executive Committee of the United Nations Office in Vienna/United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; he met with Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the Staff Councils of the Vienna International Centre-based organizations; and also with Chairs of the regional groups and heads of the Vienna-based organizations.
He held a town hall meeting and participated in a UN 21 Awards ceremony, rewarding staff members for their “exemplary and innovative” performance.
On Friday afternoon, he had a joint press encounter with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Mohamed ElBaradei following their meeting. The IAEA Director General announced that he would visit the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea after receiving an invitation from the Government to work towards normalization of the relationship between the Agency and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Mr. ElBaradei went on to say that he believed this is very much a step in the right direction towards implementation of the normalization and denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
The Secretary-General welcomed the development, saying that he was confident that the IAEA chief’s visit to Pyongyang would make a great contribution to implement the joint statement, which was adopted among the six parties on 13 February. He said he hoped that he and his delegation would be able to discuss with authorities of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on detailed matters, on first freezing nuclear facilities, and including the eventual dismantlement of all nuclear weapons and facilities. He added that he was confident that, through this process, the Korean peninsula would be able to realize the ultimate denuclearization, which had been a long commitment both of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and a wish of the international community.
The Secretary-General held another press conference that day, at which he was asked again about Korea, as well as about Iran, the Middle East, Kosovo and reform of the United Nations.
Later, he met with Kandeh Yumkella, Director-General of UNIDO -- the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. That evening, he had a working dinner with the Austrian business community.
The Secretary-General departed Vienna for New York on Saturday, 24 February.
* *** *For information media • not an official record