Activities of Secretary-General in Austria, 26-28 February

5 March 2013

Activities of Secretary-General in Austria, 26-28 February

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Vienna on the morning of Tuesday, 26 February, after an overnight flight from Abu Dhabi via Frankfurt.  He was joined in Vienna by Madam Ban Soon-taek, who had travelled to Austria separately from New York.

The Secretary-General first spoke by telephone with the President-elect of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades.  He then took part in a United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Youth Event.  (See Press Release SG/SM/14835.)

Later, he met with Jorge Sampaio, the outgoing High Representative of the Alliance of Civilizations, and the incoming High Representative, Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser.

Next the Secretary-General visited the headquarters of the Vienna Boys Choir before meeting with the Federal President of the Republic of Austria, Heinz Fischer, at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.

That evening at Vienna’s Volkstheater, the Secretary-General attended an Intercultural Innovation Award Ceremony that recognizes grass-roots activities furthering the aims of the Alliance of Civilizations.  (See Press ReleaseSG/SM/14837.)

On Wednesday morning the Secretary-General took part in the opening of the Fifth Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations at Vienna's Hofburg Palace.  (See Press Release SG/SM/14838.)

His Spokesperson later issued a note to correspondents about comments attributed to the Turkish Prime Minister at that event.

The Secretary-General also took part in a news conference and had a range of bilateral meetings during the course of the day:  with Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar; the Spanish Foreign MinisterManuel Garcia Margallo;Edward Nalbandian, the Armenian Foreign Minister; the President of The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov; and Aliakbar Salehi, Iranian Foreign Minister.  He also spoke by telephone with the President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki, ahead of the elections in his country.

That evening, the Secretary-General attended at dinner at Vienna's City Hall hosted by the Mayor, Michael Häupl.

On Thursday morning, 28 February, the Secretary-General first met with the heads of Vienna-based organizations and gave two media interviews.

Next, he visited the United Nations headquarters in Vienna, where he met with the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, and held a town-hall meeting with staff.

He then transferred to the Hofburg Palace, where he toured the Schatzkammer, the Habsburg Imperial Treasures exhibit, with President Fischer.

The Secretary-General walked from the Palace to the Foreign Ministry, where he held talks with the Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister, Michael Spindelegger.

From the Ministry, the Secretary-General, accompanied by Madam Ban, transferred to the airport to board a flight to Geneva, where they arrived that same afternoon.

For information media. Not an official record.