Activities of Secretary-General in Andorra, 2-3 April

17 April 2013

Activities of Secretary-General in Andorra, 2-3 April

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon‑taek, arrived in Andorra on the morning of Tuesday, 2 April, by helicopter from Barcelona after an aeroplane flight from Rimini, Italy.

That morning, the Secretary-General held talks with Prime Minister Antoni Martí Petit and Foreign Minister Gilbert Saboya Sunyé of Andorra.

At a joint press conference with the Prime Minister, the Secretary-General spoke about his visit to Andorra.  He said he was grateful for Andorra’s commitment to promote democracy, human rights, gender empowerment and the rule of law — the core values of the United Nations.  He said Andorra was helping to show how small States can contribute to global peace and sustainable development.

The Secretary-General also said he was deeply troubled by tensions on the Korean peninsula.  He said that as Secretary-General, it was his duty to prevent war and to pursue peace.  He said it was also his responsibility to state that the current crisis has already gone too far.

Aggressive rhetoric and military posturing only result in counter-actions, and fuel fear and instability.  The Secretary-General said things must begin to calm down, as this situation, made worse by the lack of communication, could lead down a path that nobody should want to follow.  He said dialogue and negotiations are the only way to resolve the crisis, and he stands ready to help.

During the afternoon, the Secretary-General met members of the Andorran Parliament and the President of the Parliament, Vincenc Mateu.  He addressed the Parliament of Andorra, the first foreigner to do so in more than 600 years.

In his remarks there, the Secretary-General thanked Andorra for its success in empowering women.  He noted that Andorra is just one of two countries in the world that have parliaments in which 50 per cent of the members are women.  He also commended Andorra for its recent efforts to open up its economy, making it more transparent and accessible for international transactions.  (See Press Release SG/SM/14918)

That evening, the Secretary-General attended a concert in the parish of Ordino.  He also had a meeting with the Co-Prince from Spain, Monseigneur Joan Enric Vives Sicília, and the Representative of the Co-Prince from France, François Hollande.  The Co-Princes are the joint Heads of State of Andorra.

Early on the morning of Wednesday, 3 April, the Secretary-General left Andorra by helicopter for Barcelona, from where he flew to Nice en route to Monaco, where he arrived that same day.

For information media. Not an official record.