United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Nanjing, China, in the evening of Friday, 15 August, to attend the opening ceremony of the Second Summer Youth Olympic Games.
His first appointment in the morning on Saturday, 16 August, was a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
During their talks, the Secretary-General expressed his gratitude to China for its strong partnership with the United Nations and its contributions to every area of the Organization’s work for the promotion of peace and security; sustainable development; and human rights.
They also discussed international issues, including the situations in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, the Middle East and North-East Asia.
The Secretary-General then visited the mausoleum of Sun Yat-sen, situated on Nanjing’s Purple Mountain.
In the afternoon, the Secretary-General and China’s first Olympic gold medallist in foil fencing, Lei Sheng, participated in a conversation, hosted by Tencent, on the potential of youth and sport for positive change over social media.
Immediately afterwards, the Secretary-General spoke at an event hosted by the All-China Youth Federation on the theme “Youth participation in common development”.
In his remarks, he said that we are at a critical time, asking young people for their support and engagement as there are only 500 days left to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
Of the Youth Olympic Games, the Secretary-General said that the United Nations strongly believes in the power of sport, which has “a very unique, extraordinary power to bring people together and to drive social change”. He also voiced hope that these Games would help bridge the gap among people of different ethnicities, religions and traditions. (See Press Release SG/SM/16087.)
The Secretary-General then attended a welcoming ceremony hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and the First Lady for the Second Summer Youth Olympic Games before attending the opening ceremony.
The Secretary-General returned to New York on Sunday, 17 August.