Activities of Secretary-General in Saudi Arabia, 2-5 June

8 June 2012

Activities of Secretary-General in Saudi Arabia, 2-5 June

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek, arrived in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia late on the afternoon of Saturday, 2 June, on a flight from Istanbul.

On Sunday morning, the Secretary-General visited the headquarters of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), where he met the Secretary-General of the Organization, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu  and other officials.

In remarks to reporters at the OIC, Secretary-General Ban said they had discussed how to strengthen the strategic partnership and cooperative relationship in addressing the situation in Syria and Darfur, Sudan, the situation in Sahel, and Afghanistan and Somalia.  He welcomed the OIC’s establishment of a Human Rights Commission.  He said the United Nations High Commissioner’s Office for Human Rights would very closely cooperate with the Human Rights Commission of the OIC.  He was pleased to note that four women commissioners are working in the Commission.

The Secretary-General next met the Saudi Minister of Defence, Prince Salman bin Abdel Aziz  and then Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the Saudi Foreign Minister.

Later the Secretary-General opened an advisory board meeting of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre with the Saudi Foreign Minister.

In his remarks at the meeting, the Secretary-General said the need for the Centre was eminently clear.  Terrorism continues to affect all regions of the world.  It has left a heavy toll of ruined lives and deferred hopes for peace and prosperity.  But he said the world was fighting back, and the Centre was a key tool for the international community to achieve better coordination and effective action.  (See Press Release SG/SM/14328.)

The Secretary-General then took part in a press conference with the Saudi Foreign Minister.

He was next briefed by Prince Mohammed Bin Naif Bin Abdulaziz, the Deputy Interior Minister for Security Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who outlined Saudi counter-terrorism efforts.

The next day, the Secretary-General met with the Saudi Minister for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi.  The Secretary-General and the Minister discussed the Sustainable Energy for All initiative, the “Rio+20” United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development and Saudi Arabia’s energy strategy.

The Secretary-General also visited the Islamic Development Bank, where he met Birama Sidibe, the Bank’s Acting President, and other officials and staff.  They discussed the work of the Bank, regional economic developments and Rio+20.  The Secretary-General later met Faisal Al-Muammar, the Secretary-General of the King Abdullah International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, who outlined the Centre’s work

Next, the Secretary-General met the Saudi monarch, His Majesty King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.  The Secretary-General thanked the King for his country’s support for the United Nations, in particular most recently for the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre.  The Secretary-General and the King discussed a wide range of regional developments, including Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.  The Secretary-General thanked the King for Saudi Arabia’s support for Yemen’s transition process.

Late on the evening of Monday, 4 June, the Secretary-General, accompanied by Madam Ban, left Jeddah on a flight to New York, with a refuelling stop in Shannon, Ireland.  They arrived in New York early in the morning of Tuesday, 5 June.

For information media. Not an official record.