United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Bridgetown, Barbados on Thursday, 2 August, for an official visit to the island nation holding the current chairmanship of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Caribbean regional organization.
The Secretary-General was welcomed at the airport by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Antoinette Miller.
He met the next morning with Governor General Sir Clifford Straughn Husbands at Government House. Later that day, he also met with Acting Prime Minister Mia Motley. In his exchanges with Barbadian officials, the Secretary-General discussed issues of drugs and crime in the Caribbean in light of the recent closure of the regional bureau of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, as well as the impact of climate change on the islands, the imbalance in world trade, efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and the specific needs of middle income countries with vulnerable economies. They also touched upon the impact of narco-trafficking on the efforts at institution-building in Haiti and the difficulties in building capacities in the country which the Secretary-General had visited earlier in the week. The same issues were discussed later on 8 August when the Secretary-General met Prime Minister Owen Arthur.
On 3 August, the Secretary-General also met the heads of agencies, funds and programmes and United Nations staff at the United Nations House, the eastern Caribbean hub for a number of United Nations agencies, programmes and funds and “a model for piloting and implementing United Nations system reform” stressed the Secretary-General who shared with the staff his vision of a United Nations system “that can truly deliver as one”.
On 7 August, the Secretary-General held a working dinner with Tony Blair, the recently appointed Envoy of the Middle East Quartet, the international diplomatic grouping that includes the United Nations. Mr. Ban and Mr. Blair, the former British Prime Minister, discussed recent developments in the region and the ongoing efforts of the Quartet to bring about a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
The Secretary-General returned to United Nations Headquarters on 9 August.