United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon travelled on Wednesday morning, 12 October, from Copenhagen to Sweden. Upon arrival, he headed straight to Uppsala, where he visited the grave of his predecessor, Dag Hammarskjöld, marking 50 years since the then-Secretary-General died in an air crash in Ndola.
The Secretary-General was greeted by three former soldiers who had served with the United Nations Mission in the Congo in 1961. Bror Svärd, Roland Lindholm and Staffan Andersson solemnly flanked the Secretary-General as he laid a wreath in honour of his predecessor.
Members of the Hammarskjöld family also joined the ceremony. Paying tribute to Dag Hammarskjöld’s great legacy, the Secretary-General said “the anniversary of his death has given us a valuable chance to remember these accomplishments. Even more important, to share them with succeeding generations.” (See Press Release SG/SM/13874.)
The family members present included Ambassador Knut Hammarskjöld, Peder Hammarskjöld and Carl-Gustav Hammarskjöld.
Mr. Ban also spoke briefly to reporters.
The Secretary-General then travelled to Stockholm, where he went to Parliament for talks with the Speaker, Per Westerberg.
At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Secretary-General attended a lunch hosted by Gunilla Carlsson, the Minister for Development Cooperation, who also serves on his High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability.
At a joint press encounter following their meeting, the Secretary-General said they had discussed developments in the Middle East and Libya, women’s empowerment, the Millennium Development Goals and next year’s Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. He also thanked Sweden for its steadfast support for the United Nations.
The Secretary-General flew back to New York, via London, later that day.