Activities of Secretary-General in Sweden, 1-2 October

5 October 2009

Activities of Secretary-General in Sweden, 1-2 October

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by his wife, Ban Soon-taek, arrived in Stockholm from New York in the morning of 1 October.

He began his official visit to Sweden with a tour of the Kulturama School of Performing Arts, one of several schools in the Nordic countries whose students will be participating in REClimate -- a United Nations-sponsored video competition for 15 to 19 year olds on the theme of climate change.  There, he had a discussion on climate change with the film students.

Following the school visit, the Secretary-General met with former General Assembly President Jan Eliasson.

After that, the Secretary-General had a tête-à-tête meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt at the latter’s office.

That meeting was followed by a working luncheon hosted by the Prime Minister, during which they discussed climate change, Afghanistan, Cyprus and Myanmar.

The Secretary-General and the Prime Minister then had a joint press encounter, during which he applauded Sweden’s leadership, on its own and as European Union President, on climate change.

“I also conveyed to the Prime Minister how much we value Sweden’s and the European Union’s uncompromising dedication to the common good of humanity, in practically every field of activity in which the United Nations is engaged -- ranging from conflict prevention, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, development, humanitarian assistance, human rights to the pressing peace and security issues facing us today,” the Secretary-General said.

He then went to the Royal Palace, where the Secretary-General had a one-on-one audience with the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf.

In the afternoon, the Secretary-General travelled outside Stockholm and laid a wreath at the gravesite of former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and delivered a lecture at Uppsala University, where Hammarskjöld spent his earliest years and received his education.  (See Press Release SG/SM/12511)

At the University, the Secretary-General spoke of the role of the United Nations in today’s world and said that Hammarskjöld’s concerns and his ambitions remain ours.  He recalled that he was 17 when Hammarskjöld died, and was just beginning to think about how to help build a better world.  Today, he said, his hope is to create that kind of solidarity at all times, in good times and bad, so that we can fight common threats and seize common opportunities.

That evening, the Secretary-General had a working dinner with the Minister for International Development Cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson.

On Friday morning, the Secretary-General visited the Swedish Parliament and met with the Speaker of Parliament, Per Westerberg, and representatives of political parties.  Discussions continued over a working luncheon.

He then met with and spoke to Swedish non-governmental organizations in a gathering hosted by the Swedish United Nations Association.  (See Press Release SG/SM/12512)

Prior to his departure from Stockholm, he also met with the United Nations agencies based in Stockholm.

On Friday afternoon, the Secretary-General left Stockholm for Copenhagen.

For information media. Not an official record.