United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Washington, D.C., at midday Monday, 28 February.
His first appointment was a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House. They discussed the need for an immediate end to the violence in Libya, the Middle East, North Africa, Côte d’Ivoire and Sudan, as well as United Nations reform, sustainable development and climate change.
The Secretary-General later told reporters that he thanked President Obama for his firm and decisive leadership throughout the crisis in Libya, and that: “We agreed that the international community must stand firmly together during this historic transition towards a more democratic, secure and prosperous Middle East.”
From the White House, the Secretary-General visited the United States Holocaust Museum, where he toured the permanent exhibition, lit a candle in the Hall of Remembrance, as well as visited an exhibit on contemporary genocide, “From Memory to Action”. There, he signed a pledge to prevent genocide: “‘Never again’ is a clarion call to moral action; it is for all people, in all places, at all times. We must write a new history for humankind.”
He met with reporters at the Museum and told them that he was deeply moved by what he saw, especially the combination of historical and contemporary exhibitions on preventing genocide.
“I was struck by the many references to the United Nations and the role we play in many places around the world in preventing genocide,” he said. “My visit has made me resolve again that the United Nations should work even harder to prevent any genocide.”
The Secretary-General later attended a dinner with business leaders hosted by the UN Foundation.
He left Washington, D.C., for New York on Tuesday morning, 1 March.