United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek, arrived in Marrakesh, Morocco, on Friday, 15 October, in the late afternoon.
The next day, he addressed the opening of the World Policy Conference organized by the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI). In his remarks, he said that as interdependence deepens, some of our old systems and set-ups have not kept pace. “We simply must find better ways of working together – and build systems that are tuned to our times – ones that are more accountable, more representative and more able to maximize our collective strength and maximize our limited resources to the best benefit of our global community,” he added. The Secretary-General highlighted three areas where global governance was needed: to assist the poor and vulnerable; to stave off climate change; and to address a host of new-generation challenges, such as migrations or organized crime. (See Press Release SG/SM/13188.)
Later, the Secretary-General met with Jean-Claude Trichet, the President of the European Central Bank. They discussed global economic governance issues, especially as they relate to the global economic recovery. They exchanged views on the fiscal and economic situation in Europe. They also talked about the forthcoming Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
He then held a meeting with Miguel Ángel Moratinos, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Spain. They discussed Spain’s engagement towards the United Nations, as well as the country’s chairmanship of the Millennium Development Goals Advocacy Group. They also talked about the forthcoming regional tour of the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, and other regional issues. The Secretary-General and Mr. Moratinos discussed the Middle East Peace Process and the G-20 summit.
In the afternoon, the Secretary-General left Marrakesh for Rabat where he had an audience with His Majesty Mohammed VI. They discussed Morocco’s progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and the fight against climate change, as well as terrorism and regional peace. He then visited the Royal Mausoleum of King Hassan II.
That night, the Secretary-General attended a dinner hosted in his honour by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Morocco, Taib Fassi Fihri.
On Sunday, 17 October, the Secretary-General held a working lunch with the United Nations Country Team. He then toured the Royal Moroccan National Library where he also visited an exhibit on Morocco’s progress in achieving Millennium Development Goals. Speaking to the press afterwards, he said he was impressed by the level of progress made by the Moroccan Government in achieving the Goals and he hoped that further progress could be made.
Later that afternoon, the Secretary-General held a town hall meeting with the United Nations staff in Morocco. He also met with Nawal El Moutawakel, an MDG Champion.
That night, the Secretary-General had a meeting with Djibril Bassolé, the Joint African Union-United Nations Mediator on Darfur. Mr. Bassolé briefed the Secretary-General on the status of the Doha process and said he was working with both sides on a global agreement. The Secretary-General welcomed this progress but stressed that for the agreement to be sustainable, it had to be all-inclusive and address the root causes of the problems.
The Secretary-General left Rabat for Strasbourg, France, on Monday morning, 18 October.