Activities of Secretary-General in United Kingdom, 22-23 February

29 February 2012

Activities of Secretary-General in United Kingdom, 22-23 February

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek, arrived in London late in the morning of Wednesday, 22 February, after an overnight flight from New York.

The Secretary-General first visited the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), where he met IMO Secretary-General, Koji Sekimizu and senior advisers.

Next, the Secretary-General had a series of bilateral meetings ahead of the following day’s London Conference on Somalia.

First, the Secretary-General met the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu. He next met Andrew Mitchell, the Secretary of State for International Development of the United Kingdom. The Secretary-General later met Nabil Elaraby, the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, to discuss developments in Syria and their efforts to appoint a special envoy to handle the crisis.

That evening, the Secretary-General attended a dinner hosted by William Hague, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, for leaders attending the next day’s Conference on Somalia.

Early the next morning, Thursday, 23 February, the Secretary-General met the Prime Minister of Sweden, Fredrik Reinfeldt, and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt.

The Secretary-General next attended a working breakfast at No. 10 Downing Street with David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and other participants in the London Conference on Somalia.

The Secretary-General then attended the opening session of the Conference and delivered an address.  He said the Conference was taking place at a critical time.  He called on the international community to take steps to improve security, advance the political process and step up assistance for recovery, reconstruction and development in Somalia. (See Press Release SG/SM/14121)

During the course of the day, the Secretary-General conducted a wide range of bilateral meetings with leaders also attending the Conference.  Among those he met were Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, President of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia; Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia; Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda; Alain Juppé, Foreign Minister of France; José Manuel García-Margallo, Foreign Minister of Spain; Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, Foreign Minister of Italy; James A. Michel, President of the Seychelles; Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Prime Minister of Mauritius; Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Mr. Elaraby, Secretary General of the League of Arab States; and Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The Secretary-General attended a joint press conference with Prime Minister Cameron, Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, and the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Jean Ping, at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Secretary-General, accompanied by Madam Ban, left that same evening for Zambia, where they arrived the next afternoon after a flight via Dubai.

For information media. Not an official record.