Secretary-General heads to Switzerland, Eastern Europe and Africa

21 January 2008 –

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is leaving New York this evening for a trip which will take him to Switzerland, Eastern Europe and Africa.

Tomorrow in Switzerland, Mr. Ban will meet with Jacques Rogge, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in Lausanne to discuss cooperation between the two organizations to achieve humanitarian and development goals.

The two officials will confer on how sport can support efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), globally agreed pledges to slash poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy by 2015.

The Secretary-General tomorrow also intends to visit the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which is launching a series of events to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in Geneva.

On Wednesday, he plans to address the Conference on Disarmament and will take part in a memorial service for the victims of last month’s deadly terrorist bombing in Algiers, Algeria.

The Secretary-General will also participate in the World Economic Forum in Davos.

He will then continue his trip by travelling to four additional countries next week, his spokesperson Michele Montas announced today.

In his first-ever official trip to Eastern Europe, Mr. Ban will arrive in Slovenia, which currently holds the European Union (EU) presidency, on the evening of 25 January, after which he will stop in Slovakia.

He will then travel to Kigali, Rwanda, where he will speak at the Genocide Memorial, before proceeding to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he will address the opening of the African Union (AU) summit meeting on 31 January.


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