United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Madam Ban Soon-taek arrived at Dar es Salaam’s Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Airport at noon on Thursday, 26 February.
The Secretary-General went straight to a meeting with Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, where the two discussed the global economic and financial crisis; the upcoming elections in the United Republic of Tanzania; the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, which is expected to complete its work next year; and regional issues, including Burundi, Zimbabwe, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On Burundi specifically, the Secretary-General expressed concern over delays in the disarmament of the Forces nationales de libération (FNL).
Secretary-General Ban and President Kikwete also spoke about climate change and its impact on food security in Tanzania, as well as the public health situation in Tanzania and the Government’s efforts to stamp out HIV/AIDS.
In a separate meeting chaired by President Kikwete, the Secretary-General met with former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, who briefed him on the Nairobi talks concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which Mr. Mkapa co-chairs with former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. They discussed the reintegration of fighters from the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) into the Congolese Armed Forces, the prospects for United Nations assistance in supporting military integration, and the question of temporary amnesty.
Also that day in the Tanzanian capital, the Secretary-General delivered a lecture to the local diplomatic corps, the academic community and representatives of the media. He said that we must not let Africa’s successes be undermined by global crises, and called on African leaders to move forward on education, efforts to battle climate change and the fight against HIV/AIDS. (See Press Release SG/SM/12114)
He also emphasized the need for an end to violence throughout the continent, including in Darfur, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia.
That evening, the Secretary-General’s delegation attended an official dinner hosted by President Kikwete.
On Friday morning, the Secretary-General had breakfast with the United Nations country team based in Tanzania. He then held a town hall meeting with United Nations staff in the country, before flying to Zanzibar, where he met with President Amani Abeid Karume at the State House.
Before an official lunch hosted by the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, the Secretary-General and the President dedicated the “One UN” country office on the island.
After this, the Secretary-General and his delegation, en route to Arusha, flew over Mount Kilimanjaro to assess the receding ice cap and other impacts of climate change on the geological landmark. He was able to see for himself how, due to global warming, there are now only a few patches of snow on the mountain. He said later at a press encounter in Dar es Salaam that it is suggested that by 2030 we may not be able to see any snow on top of Mount Kilimanjaro. “That is an alarming situation,” he declared.
At the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, the Secretary-General briefly attended courtroom proceedings before holding a town hall meeting with staff, in which he warmly praised them for the work they have done. He also had a brief press encounter, in which he appealed to countries, especially those in the region, to live up to their obligations to cooperate with the Tribunal by transferring fugitive suspects to be tried there.
After staying a second night in Dar es Salaam, the Secretary-General and his delegation left early the next morning for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.