Activities of Secretary-General in Cuba, Panama, 27-28 January

30 January 2014

Activities of Secretary-General in Cuba, Panama, 27-28 January

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek, arrived in Havana in the early hours of Monday, 27 January, and spoke briefly to the press.

On the way from New York, he had a brief stopover in Panama, where he met the United Nations Country Team.

On Monday, 27 January, the Secretary-General first met with Marino Murillo, Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Chairman of the Permanent Commission for the Implementation and Development of Economic and Social Policy Guidelines.  They discussed at length Cuba’s economic and social transformation, which Mr. Murillo oversees.

He then visited Old Havana, a part of the city being renovated as part of the transformation efforts.  During his tour he made an impromptu stop at a self-run barber shop for a haircut.

Later, the Secretary-General attended and spoke at an event at CENESEX (Cuban National Centre for Sex Education), which was devoted to his UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign.  (See Press Release SG/SM/15617.)

He then returned to Old Havana for a working lunch with Miguel Diaz-Canel, First Vice-President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of Cuba.

Later in the day, the Secretary-General met with Esteban Lazo Hernandez, the President of Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Power (Parliament) and then with Rodrigo Malmierca, the Minister for Foreign Trade and Investment.

That same evening, the Secretary-General met with Raul Castro Ruz, the President of Cuba.

On Tuesday, 28 January, the Secretary-General first attended the opening session of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit.

Later, he was driven to the outskirts of Havana to the Latin American School of Medicine, known by its Spanish acronym ELAM.  There he met and spoke with officials, faculty and students.  (See Press Releases SG/SM/15619 and SG/SM/15621.)

He then returned to Havana to meet the Chief of Cuba’s Civil Defense National Staff, Division General Ramon Pardo Guerra.

In the mid-afternoon, the Secretary-General met with Fidel Castro Ruz, the former President of Cuba.  He then visited United Nationsheadquarters in Havana, where he held a town hall meeting with staff.

The Secretary-General then returned to the CELAC Summit venue, where he attended a bilateral meeting with President Nicolas Maduro Moros of Venezuela before delivering a speech to the organization's leaders.  (See Press Release SG/SM/15620.)

He also met Michel Joseph Martelly, the President of Haiti.

Later the Secretary-General held a press conference, then departed to the airport.

Before leaving for Germany on an overnight flight, the Secretary-General met with Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, the President of Colombia.

For information media. Not an official record.