5 January 2004


Secretary-General Kofi Annan interrupted his winter holiday to pay an official visit to Trinidad and Tobago on Friday, 2 January.

Upon arrival in Port of Spain on Friday morning, he met with the heads of United Nations agencies working in the country.

In mid-afternoon he met with Prime Minister Patrick Manning at the Prime Minister’s office.  At a press encounter afterwards, the Secretary-General answered questions on HIV/AIDS, terrorism, Haiti, Iraq, and the role of the United Nations in today’s world.

He met with United Nations staff and then separately with representatives of the United Nations Association in the country.  He answered questions of staff from the International Labour Organization, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, the United Nations Information Centre, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Development Programme.  A staff member from the Food and Agriculture Organization presented the Secretary-General with a compact disc of “Parang” music, which is played most often at Christmas.  The music was played and the Secretary-General danced.  The meeting was followed by a “family photo”, as well as a photo with a group of United Nations volunteer doctors serving in Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr. Annan then met with leaders of the opposition United National Congress, Wade Mark and Ganga Singh, with whom he discussed issues of concern to the two representatives.

That evening he had a private dinner with Prime Minister Manning.

For information media. Not an official record.