Activities of Secretary-General in Switzerland, 12-15 April

20 April 2012

Activities of Secretary-General in Switzerland, 12-15 April

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek, arrived in Geneva on Thursday morning, 12 April on a flight from New York.

Immediately upon arriving in Switzerland, he spoke by telephone with the Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan.

He later attended a reception with Members of the Diplomatic Corps in Geneva hosted by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva.

He then held a meeting with the Global Migration Group Principals to discuss issues relating to migration.

In the afternoon, the Secretary-General held a press conference with the Geneva-based international media.  He said the situation in Syria was looking calmer and that it was a critical moment for ending the violence, but he added that the world was watching with sceptical eyes, since many promises previously made by the Government of Syria have not been kept.

He also reiterated calls for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea not to go ahead with a rocket launch, which he said was against the will of the international community.

On the tensions between Sudan and South Sudan, the Secretary-General urged the leaders of both countries to show political will and leadership by ending hostilities and by calling a presidential summit to negotiate a durable solution to their differences.

He then held town hall meetings with staff of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)and International Telecommunication Union (ITU), both Geneva-based UN agencies.

In the evening, he attended a dinner hosted by Juan Somavia, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

On Friday, 13 April, Mr. Ban attended a breakfast hosted by Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS.

The Secretary-General then chaired a meeting of the United Nations Chief Executives Board (CEB).  CEB is the highest level of coordination within the United Nations System.  It meets twice a year and brings together the heads of United Nations agencies under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General.  It aims to help coordinate the work of these organizations and to ensure that the United Nations System can deliver effectively internationally, regionally and nationally.

In the early evening, the Secretary-General transferred to Mont-Pèlerin, a small hillside town an hour outside Geneva.

He met with Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, President of the Swiss Confederation, which was followed by a reception and dinner hosted by Ms. Widmer-Schlumpf in honour of the Secretary-General and Members of the Chief Executives Board.

On the morning of Saturday, 14 April, the Secretary-General continued meetings with Members of the Chief Executives Board.

He returned to Geneva in the early evening to meet with Kofi Annan, Joint Special Envoy for Syria.

The Secretary-General, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek, left for Brussels, Belgium by plane at midday on Sunday, 15 April.

For information media. Not an official record.