Activities of Secretary-General in South Africa, 11-12 June

13 July 2010

Activities of Secretary-General in South Africa, 11-12 June

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Madam Ban Soon-taek arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa, early on the morning of Friday, 11 June, after an overnight flight from Cameroon.

The Secretary-General first attended an official breakfast hosted by President Jacob Zuma for two dozen visiting Heads of State, who were in town to attend the opening ceremony for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the first match, between South Africa and Mexico, at the Soccer City stadium in Soweto.

The Secretary-General later attended the opening ceremony and match, at the invitation of President Zuma and Sepp Blatter, President of Fédération International de Football Association (FIFA).  President Felipe Calderón of Mexico joined them to watch the game.  Other leaders with whom the Secretary-General spoke included Vice-President Joseph Biden of the United States.

The Secretary-General said he regarded the World Cup tournament as a major landmark for the people of Africa, and he told reporters he was thrilled to have experienced the people’s exuberance, and the event, for himself.

Leaving Johannesburg for Benin on the morning of Saturday 12 June, the Secretary-General arrived in Cotonou late that evening.

For information media. Not an official record.