United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in London from New York on Wednesday, 10 May, ahead of the London Somalia Conference to be held the following day.
On Wednesday, he addressed a crowd of more than 1,500 people, non-governmental organization members, academia, general public and others, at the invitation of the United Nations Association-United Kingdom.
To rescue multilateralism, we need to have a strong commitment to reform multilateral organizations, he said in his remarks to the event, from humanitarian assistance to peace operations.
That evening, the Secretary-General met with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo.
On Thursday, 11 May, the Secretary-General opened the Somalia Conference, co-hosted with the United Kingdom, by saying that the Conference was an opportunity to listen to Somalia’s leadership — and agree on a framework for cooperation. Somalia has to rebuild security, foster transparency and accountability, deal with a crippling drought, and avert a famine, he said, adding that he also saw an opportunity to build on the momentum of the electoral process and achieve lasting stability. (See Press Release SG/SM/18515.)
He also participated in a meeting on humanitarian assistance, saying that the lean season is coming in Somalia and that hunger conditions are expected to worsen over coming months. (See Press Release SG/SM/18516.)
The Secretary-General held a joint press conference with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and President Farmajo of Somalia, and held a series of bilateral meetings with Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development of the United Kingdom; Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda; Binali Yildirim, Prime Minister of Turkey; Sigmar Gabriel, Foreign Minister of Germany; James Mattis, Secretary of Defense of the United States, and Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
The Secretary-General left London on Friday, 12 May, for China, to attend the Belt and Road Initiative Forum in Beijing.