United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Prague on Thursday evening, 14 April, at the start of a four-country visit to Eastern and Central Europe.
On Friday morning, he met President Václav Klaus, whom he briefed on recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly Libya and Egypt. The Secretary-General underscored the important role that the European Union can play, particularly in socio-economic development.
He noted that the people of the Czech Republic had their own experience in managing a transition, and this could be a useful contribution.
Their discussions also covered world economic developments, the activities of the Group of 20, global governance and the situation in the Western Balkans.
At noon, the Secretary-General, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek, attended a luncheon hosted by the Mayor of Prague, Bohuslav Svoboda, in their honour.
Following a tour of the Old Town Hall, the Secretary-General met with Miroslava Nĕmcová, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. He later met with Milan Štĕch, President of the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. At both meetings, other parliamentarians were also present.
That evening, the Secretary-General and his delegation were hosted at a working dinner at the Foreign Ministry by Karel Schwarzenberg, Czech Minister for Foreign Affairs.
During that day, the Secretary-General also met representatives of non-governmental organizations. He told them that their country’s experience with political transition meant it was well placed to help those countries which are undergoing political change in the Middle East and North Africa.
On Saturday, the Secretary-General and Madam Ban toured Prague and Karlštejn Castles. They were entertained to lunch that day by Vladimír Galuška, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.
On Sunday morning, the Secretary-General met with Bohuslav Sobotka, Leader of the Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) and Jan Kavan, former President of the fifty-seventh session of the General Assembly and former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic.
The Secretary-General and his delegation then departed Prague for Budapest, Hungary, where they arrived early on Sunday afternoon.