United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Madam Ban Soon-Taek arrived in London, United Kingdom, from The Hague, Netherlands, on Wednesday, 1 April, for the Group of 20 (G-20) Summit. He was greeted at the airport by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, Representative of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
Shortly after arriving in London, the Secretary-General held bilateral meetings with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary, David Miliband.
With the Indonesian President, the Secretary-General discussed his recent letter to the G-20 and his proposed creation of a Global Vulnerability Monitor, which would provide valuable real-time information on the most vulnerable populations to decision makers. They also touched on climate change and Myanmar.
The Secretary-General and the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary discussed the significance of the G-20 Summit and the importance of working together to make it a success. They agreed that, if the Summit failed to produce results, the consequences would be severe.
The Secretary-General then proceeded to a meeting on climate change and forests hosted by the Prince of Wales. In remarks at that gathering, the Secretary-General said that green growth is precisely what the world needs during the current economic downturn. He added that green growth can help jump-start recovery and generate jobs, and it provides the path for lower-carbon, long-term prosperity. He also said that, if we are to be effective in combating climate change, we must give people the tools, the resources and, not least, the hope needed to move towards a lower-carbon economy. (See Press Release SG/SM/12163.)
Later in the evening, the Secretary-General attended a reception at Buckingham Palace, as well as a dinner with G‑20 leaders hosted by United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The topic of discussion for that dinner was “Restoring Global Demand and Recovery”.
The following day, Thursday, 2 April, the Secretary-General attended the G‑20 Summit, officially titled: “The London Summit: Stability, Growth, Jobs”.
In a statement issued after the Summit’s outcome, the Secretary-General said that he was pleased that G-20 leaders had committed themselves to a $1.1 trillion package. But it was critical that the share of this going to the poorer countries was delivered, he added. (See Press Release SG/SM/12165.)
Following the Summit’s two plenary sessions, the Secretary-General held bilateral meetings with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, and the President of the Republic of Korea, Lee Myung-Bak.
With the Italian Prime Minister, the Secretary-General discussed the G-20 outcome, preparations for the next meeting of the Group of Eight (G-8), climate change, food security, Lebanon and Somalia.
The subjects of the meeting between the Secretary-General and the Japanese Prime Minister included the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and the Secretary-General expressed his concern. They discussed the outcome of the G-20 and follow-up including official development assistance (ODA), food security and climate change, in particular green growth strategy and water conservation. Other regional issues such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Haiti were also discussed, as was United Nations reform.
The topics in the Secretary-General’s discussion with the President of the Republic of Korea, included the G-20, climate change, water conservation, official development assistance, the Korean peninsula and Haiti. As for climate change, the Secretary-General commended the initiative for low-carbon green growth and the proactive role in the climate change negotiation taken under the leadership of President Lee. As for ODA and food security, the Secretary-General appreciated the strong commitment of the Korean Government to increase its contribution despite the economic crisis.
The next day, Friday, 3 April, the Secretary-General and his wife left for Paris, France, where the Secretary-General was to chair a gathering of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination.