Activities of Secretary-General in Austria, 2-7 September

13 September 2010

Activities of Secretary-General in Austria, 2-7 September

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek, arrived in Vienna, Austria, in the morning of Thursday, 2 September, after a flight from Altenrhein, St. Gallen airport in Switzerland.  They had driven there from Liechtenstein earlier that morning.

The Secretary-General next held tête-à-tête talks with Michael Spindelegger, the Austrian Federal Minister for European and International Affairs, at his ministry.  This was followed by a press stakeout and then a working lunch with their delegations.  The Secretary-General said he and the Minister had discussed, among other topics, the Millennium Development Goals, disarmament, the Balkans and peacekeeping.

After the lunch, the Secretary-General met members of a non-governmental organization, “Mirno More Peacefleet” in the Minister’s office.  They then walked to the nearby Hofburg Conference Centre for the opening of the conference “From Vision to Reality: A New and Holistic Approach to Fighting Corruption”.  This was the inaugural event for the International Anti-Corruption Academy.  The Secretary-General told the conference in remarks that one major handicap regarding corruption is that “we don’t know how to measure it”.  To this end, the creation of a precise body of knowledge about a poorly researched a little-understood subject “will shed more light on murky deals”.  (See Press Release SG/SM/13087)

The Secretary-General then travelled to Laxenburg, just outside Vienna, to visit the new Academy, a historic building renovated by Austria.  He also visited another international body based in Laxenburg, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

On Friday, 3 September, the Secretary-General and Madam Ban Soon-taek left Vienna for Muerzsteg, the presidential summer residence, where they spent the day and Friday night as guests of Austrian Federal President Heinz Fischer and his wife.

The Secretary-General, accompanied by Madam Ban, flew by helicopter to Alpbach in the Austrian Tyrol Province, on Saturday, 4 September, to attend the closing session of the European Forum Alpbach 2010.  At that forum, the Secretary-General delivered a speech on the international financial and economic crisis and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  In his remarks, the Secretary-General said the crisis had caused grave setbacks for the Goals.  This year alone, he said, an additional 64 million people will fall into extreme poverty.  The number of hungry people has risen above 1 billion for the first time.  He said keeping the promise of the Millennium Development Goals was an urgent and collective responsibility.  “Surely,” he said, “if the world can mobilize $20 trillion in a short period in response to the economic crisis, there can be little excuse for not finding the far more modest resources needed to go the extra mile on the MDGs.”  (See Press Release SG/SM/13087)

The Secretary-General also attended a working session of the United Nations Security Council retreat that also took place in Alpbach.

On Sunday, 5 September, and Monday, 6 September, the Secretary-General hosted a retreat for senior officials from the United Nations system.

On Tuesday, 7 September, the Secretary-General flew to Kigali, Rwanda.

For information media. Not an official record.