United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon‑taek, flew to Saint Louis, Missouri, in the late afternoon of Thursday, 11 June.
On Friday morning, the Secretary-General met with representatives of several agricultural companies, growers’ organizations and research institutes to discuss food security. Participants included representatives of Monsanto, the American Soybean Association, the National Corn Growers Association and the World Agricultural Forum. They explored how to increase agricultural productivity in the developing world and how to create synergies between smallholder and commercial farming. They also discussed climate change and technology, including biotechnology. All agreed to continue exploring how to increase cooperation with the United Nations.
During a visit to Boeing headquarters, Mr. Ban toured an exhibition showing the history of Boeing civilian and space craft. He met with Chris Chadwick, President of Boeing Military Craft, and other Boeing officials, who briefed the Secretary-General on Boeing’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and on other environment-friendly steps being taken in aircraft production. The Secretary-General called on Boeing to take a leadership role in combating climate change and encouraged Boeing to join the Global Compact.
From there, the Secretary-General paid a visit to the headquarters of Junior Chamber International, an organization that has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council and aims to mobilize young people to get involved in the Millennium Development Goals, the Global Compact and other areas. He then attended a luncheon at the Saint Louis Club, hosted by Charles Dooley, the Saint Louis County Chief Executive.
The Secretary-General and Madam Ban visited Gateway Arch before moving to Saint Louis University, where the Secretary-General addressed students and faculty on “Solving the World’s Food and Security Problems”. He stressed the importance of the partnership between the United Nations and the United States, and discussed common challenges such as hunger, poverty, climate change, the H1N1 flu and the global economic crisis. (See Press Release SG/SM/12311)
The Secretary-General returned to New York on Friday night.