|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
ACTIVITIES OF SECRETARY-GENERAL IN ETHIOPIA, 30 JANUARY – 1 FEBRUARY
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Madam Ban Soon-taek arrived in Addis Ababa at noon on Wednesday, 30 January.
After internal consultations with his senior advisers, he began a series of formal meetings with a working lunch with African Union Commission Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konaré. They discussed Darfur and the need to push forward with the dialogue among all parties there; the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South Sudan; the situation between Chad and Sudan; and Kenya. On Kenya, they agreed that the African Union and United Nations should support the current efforts by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
After that, the Secretary-General met for about an hour and a half with Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir, and they agreed on the need to accelerate the deployment of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation, UNAMID, and the finalization of the status of forces agreement for UNAMID. The Secretary-General also stressed the need to engage with the parties in Darfur and to move forward on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Later that day, the Secretary-General met separately with three African Presidents: John Kufuor of Ghana, with whom he discussed the situation in Kenya and United Nations-African Union cooperation; with Omar Bongo Ondimba of Gabon; and later with Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.
On Thursday morning, the Secretary-General addressed the opening session in Addis Ababa of the African Union Summit, and he drew attention to the alarming developments in Kenya, calling on the gathered African leaders to urge and encourage the leaders and people of Kenya to calm the violence and resolve their differences through dialogue and respect for the democratic process. (See Press Release SG/SM/11396)
He later told reporters at a press conference that he would travel the next day to Nairobi to give his full support to the Panel of Eminent African Persons, led by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He said he would meet opposition leader Raila Odinga, some civil society leaders and visit United Nations staff, as well. And he urged the Kenyan people: “Stop the killings and end the violence now, before it is too late!”
Following the press conference, the Secretary-General met with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, and encouraged him to move towards a quick resolution of the crisis. They discussed the humanitarian situation in the country and the situation of internally displaced persons, as well as the Secretary-General’s trip to be taken the following day.
Earlier, the Secretary-General had spoken by phone with Kofi Annan to commend his role in the negotiations. They talked about the serious impact of the violence on Kenya’s economy.
The Secretary-General also had bilateral meetings with several other leaders gathered for the African Union Summit.
He met with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and expressed that he was encouraged by the arrangements agreed to between Algeria and the United Nations for the forthcoming investigative panel looking into the 11 December Algiers attack.
He later met with Prime Minister Guillaume Soro of Côte d’Ivoire, with whom he discussed the Ouagadougou Accords and the elections scheduled for June 2008, which the United Nations would support.
In a meeting with President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso, the Secretary-General talked about the President’s nomination to head the Economic Community of West African States, as well as Burkina Faso’s role in the Security Council and the situations in Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea.
He also held meetings that day with President Boni Yayi of Benin, Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein of Somalia and Prime Minister Lansana Kouyaté of Guinea.
He later met with President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, and together they discussed Kenya, the tensions between Chad and Sudan, the UNAMID deployment in the Darfur region of Sudan and the political crisis in Zimbabwe.
The Secretary-General then met with incoming African Union Chairperson, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete. The Secretary-General congratulated him on his assumption of the African Union chairmanship, and then they discussed United Nations-African Union relations, the tensions between Chad and Sudan, the crisis in Kenya and the ratification process of Great Lakes Security Pact.
With Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar al-Qadhafi, the Secretary-General discussed relations between Chad and Sudan, Darfur, Somalia, Kenya, the Middle East Peace process and United Nations reform.
Towards the end of his work day, the Secretary-General took part in a teleconference with other principals of the Middle East Quartet, including United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the European Union’s High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana.
The Secretary-General later attended an official dinner accompanied by his spouse.
He left Addis Ababa on 1 February at 7 a.m. on a special flight to Nairobi, Kenya.
* *** *For information media • not an official record