Activities of Secretary-General in Chicago, United States, 20-21 May

22 May 2012

Activities of Secretary-General in Chicago, United States, 20-21 May

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Chicago on the afternoon of Sunday, 20 May, after a flight from New York.

The Secretary-General first held a bilateralmeeting with Abdullah Gül, the President of Turkey, and then attended a dinner hosted by the Chicago Host Committee for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Summit.

Later that evening, the Secretary-General met the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai.

On the morning of 21 May, the Secretary-General held a bilateral meeting with the President of France, François Hollande.

He then took part in a NATO meeting on Afghanistan.  He told the meeting that he had come to the NATO Summit with one overriding message that the United Nations will continue to support the Afghan Government to the maximum of its ability.  (See Press Release SG/SM/14298)

He said Afghanistan faces clear and difficult security and development challenges.  Yet our resources are limited.  The United Nations cannot fill all the gaps.  The Secretary-General said the enduring commitment of every leader gathered in Chicago would be critical. 

He said Afghanistan’s international partners will not withdraw their support as they draw down their military presence.  We must focus our efforts more broadly than a technical restructuring of security institutions.  He said there needed to be a commitment to do more for women and children — including girls’ education and women’s participation in the country’s political life.

The Secretary-General said the international community also recognized the responsibility of the Afghan authorities to take the difficult decisions that were essential for good governance.

The Secretary-General next held three bilateral meetings.  He first met the President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, and then the Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom, Philip Hammond.

Finally, the Secretary-General held a meeting with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte.

The Secretary-General departed Chicago on the afternoon of 21 May and arrived back in New York the same evening.

For information media. Not an official record.