10 December 2013

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Activities of Secretary-General in France, 6-8 December


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in the French capital, Paris, on Friday morning, 6 December.

The Secretary-General met in turn with the Prime Minister of Libya, Ali Zeidan; the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Joseph Kabila Kabange; the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Salva Kiir; and with the President of the Republic of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza.

Then, the Secretary-General hosted a lunch for the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso.

After lunch, the Secretary-General participated in the opening session of the Elysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa at the Palais de l’Elysée.

In his remarks at this opening session, he said that the violence of the past few days in the Central African Republic was yet another reminder that we must act now.  He said that the adoption of resolution 2127 (2013) by the Security Council was an important step, and the deployment of additional French forces would also be essential.  The Secretary-General also said that the Summit was taking place as the world mourned the loss of former President Nelson Mandela of South Africa and said that his legacy was profound and would continue to guide the work of the United Nations.  (See Press Release SG/SM/15525.)

The Secretary-General then participated in the first closed session of the Elysée Summit on the theme of Peace and Security in Africa.

The Secretary-General also met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of France, Laurent Fabius, before participating in a dinner hosted by the President of France, François Hollande, and Mrs. Valérie Trierweiler in honour of Heads of Delegation attending the Elysée Summit.

The following morning, Saturday, 7 December, the Secretary-General was interviewed by Radio France Internationale (RFI).

He then participated in the third closed session of the Elysée Summit on the theme of Climate Change and in the closing session of the Summit.

The Secretary-General met with the President of Mali, Boubacar Keita, before participating in a lunch hosted by the President of France.

Later, speaking at a joint press conference — together with the President of France, François Hollande; the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete; the President of Senegal, Macky Sall; and the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy — the Secretary-General said that the participants of this Summit came together to deliver a message of solidarity and hope for a peaceful and prosperous future for every man, woman and child in Africa.  He said that for many years now, Africans had been writing a new narrative in the continent’s history and the shared goal was to build on those achievements while addressing the serious obstacles that remain. 

Following this press conference, the Secretary-General participated in a Summit meeting on the Central African Republic.

Before departing Paris the following day, to South Africa for President Mandela’s Memorial Service, the Secretary-General spoke on the telephone with the President of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovich.

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For information media • not an official record