United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek, arrived in the Republic of Korea in the afternoon of Thursday, 22 August, on a flight from New York that left the day before.
On Friday morning, the Secretary-General first attended a gathering of the diplomatic corps based in Seoul to brief them on the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 development agenda. He also spoke about developments in Syria. (See Press Release SG/SM/15229)
The Secretary-General had a series of meetings with Korean leaders during the day, including President Park Geun-hye, Prime Minister Chung Hong-won, Foreign Minister Yoon Byung-se and the Speaker of the National Assembly (parliament), Kang Change-hee. He also met the head of the Republic of Korea’s aid agency, the Korea International Cooperation Agency, Kim Young-mok.
On Saturday, 24 August, the Secretary-General travelled to the Chungju area of the Republic of Korea where he was born and grew up. On arrival, he first had a meeting with his Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke. That evening, he attended and spoke at the opening ceremony for the World Rowing Championships. (See Press Release SG/SM/15235)
The next day, Sunday, 25 August, the Secretary-General travelled to Eumseong, the village where he was born. He first visited the family grave to pay his respects to his ancestors. He then dropped by the reconstructed house on the site where he was born. He also toured a museum that depicts the Secretary-General’s life and career. He spoke to villagers and others who had come to greet him.
Then, the Secretary-General transferred to Chungju City Hall, where, on arrival he met a group of young people from around the world taking part in a youth sport leadership course. At the City Hall, the Secretary-General had an encounter with middle and high school students from the area. Before returning to Seoul, the Secretary-General visited and inaugurated the reconstructed house on the site of the one where he grew up.
On the morning of Monday, 26 August, the Secretary-General participated in a meeting of business leaders, who are members of the Republic of Korea’s branch of the United Nations Global Compact. In his remarks, delivered in Korean, he underscored the need for women's empowerment, notably in the country’s business sector, and briefed members on the Millennium Development Goals and post-2015 development agenda.
The Secretary-General later gave a press conference at the Foreign Ministry, where he answered questions on Syria, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and North-East Asia.
He then attended a forum at the Ministry on the post-2015 development agenda. That evening, he attended a dinner hosted by the President of the World Federation of United Nations Associations, Park Soo-gil.
On Tuesday, 27 August, the Secretary-General, accompanied by Madam Ban, left the Republic of Korea on a flight to Amsterdam, where they arrived in the late afternoon of the same day.