Activities of Secretary-General in Hungary, 17-19 April

25 April 2011

Activities of Secretary-General in Hungary, 17-19 April

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek, arrived in Budapest from Prague in the early afternoon of Sunday, 17 April.

His first meeting was with United Nations staff based in Budapest.  He then met separately with András Schiffer, Leader of the “Politics can be different Party” (LMP), and with Attila Mesterházy, Leader of the “Hungarian Socialist Party” (MSZI).

Later, Mr. Ban and his delegation were hosted to dinner by János Hóvári, Deputy State Secretary for Global Affairs.

On Monday morning, the Secretary-General met with the President of Hungary, Pál Schmitt, at Sándor Palace and spoke to reporters afterwards.  On Libya, the Secretary-General said that his Special Envoy for Libya, Abdul Ilah al-Khatib, visited Tripoli the day before, together with the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos.  He said he was encouraged to report that, as a result, the United Nations reached an agreement on a humanitarian presence in Tripoli.

Meanwhile, he added, talks on the political situation continue.  Once a ceasefire is eventually reached, the Secretary-General said, Libya would require wide-ranging efforts in peacemaking, peacebuilding and reconstruction.

The Secretary-General held separate meetings in Budapest that day with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Foreign Minister János Martonyi.  The Secretary-General briefed them on developments in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly the situation in Libya.  They also discussed Hungary’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union.

After a lunch hosted by Foreign Minister Martonyi, and internal meetings and media interviews, the Secretary-General met with Professor József Pálinkás, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.  He then addressed the Academy in a speech organized by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Association of Hungary.  He touched on protection of civilians, sustainable development and the fight against climate change.  (See Press Release SG/SM/13512)

He later attended a reception hosted by Deputy State Secretary for Global Affairs Hóvári.  His last official appointment of the visit was to attend a dinner in his honour hosted by President Schmitt.

The Secretary-General departed Hungary for Ukraine the following morning, Tuesday, 19 April.

For information media. Not an official record.