United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Paris from Brussels in the evening of Wednesday, 24 January.
On Thursday morning he spoke at the Paris-3 donors’ conference for Lebanon, and urged the international community to respond favourably and generously to the reconstruction package presented by the Lebanese Government. He said that rarely has the United Nations witnessed such a quick transition from the emergency phase to development work.
The Secretary-General also called on Lebanon’s neighbours to fully respect its unity, independence and sovereignty. And he urged all parties and communities within Lebanon to engage in meaningful dialogue and to avoid any recourse to violence and intimidation. See Press Release SG/SM/10853.
Earlier that day, the Secretary-General had met with Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, who briefed him on the situation in his country and conveyed his appreciation of the United Nations involvement in Lebanon. The Secretary-General reaffirmed the UN’s long-standing commitment to Lebanon, and they discussed the political and economic situation and the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701.
The Secretary-General also met with a number of foreign ministers bilaterally, including Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany; Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé of Spain; Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and the United States Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. He also met with Amre Moussa, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.
Earlier in the morning, the Secretary-General met with his Special Envoy for the Future Status Process for Kosovo, Martti Ahtisaari, who discussed his plans for presenting his proposal on Kosovo’s status in the coming weeks.
Later in the day, he participated in a joint press conference with French President Jacques Chirac, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora; US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso; and Prince Saud Al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia.
On Friday morning, the Secretary-General met with President Chirac at the Palais de l’Elysée. They discussed the situation in Lebanon and the results of the previous day’s reconstruction conference. They also talked about the difficult political situation in that country.
In addition, they discussed an international conference on the environment which would be held the following week in Paris. Their talks also touched on Côte d’Ivoire, Darfur and the security situation on the border between Chad, the Central African Republic and the Sudan.
The Secretary-General then left France for his first visit to Africa, where he would visit the UN’s largest peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; attend the African Union Summit in Ethiopia; and familiarize himself with UN agencies and programmes based in Kenya.