United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, his wife Ban Soon-taek and the United Nations delegation arrived in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in the evening of Sunday, 1 March.
He met there with Foreign Ministers Ahmad Aboul Gheit of Egypt and Jonas Gahr Stare of Norway, the co-organizers of the International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy for the Reconstruction of Gaza.
On Monday morning, the Secretary-General addressed the Conference, urging the assembled world leaders to look at the big picture and think comprehensively in their search for a definitive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He said the aftermath of the recent fighting in Gaza presents the international community with an opportunity to change the status quo in the region. “This is our moment.” (See Press Release SG/SM/12120)
The Secretary-General also held bilateral meetings with a number of leaders, including Quartet Representative Tony Blair and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. He also met with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and United Kingdom Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Meetings were also held with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.
The topics of his discussions with those leaders ranged from the situation in the Middle East, including Gaza and Lebanon, to the Darfur peace process, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, climate change and food security. An informal meeting of the Middle East Quartet was also held that day in Sharm el-Sheikh.
The Secretary-General departed Sharm el-Sheikh for New York on Tuesday, 3 March.