Activities of Secretary-General in Iceland, 1-3 July

9 July 2013

Activities of Secretary-General in Iceland, 1-3 July

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland, in the evening of Monday, 1 July, his first visit there as United Nations Secretary-General.

On Tuesday, 2 July, he met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson.  The meeting was followed by a joint press encounter.

Later, the Secretary-General went to the Parliament of Iceland, where he met with members of the Foreign Affairs Committee.  In his remarks to the members of the Committee, he said that the United Nations has gained significantly from Iceland's support in such critical areas as international criminal justice, human rights, gender equality and humanitarian assistance.  (See Press Release SG/SM/15146.)

The Secretary-General also visited Hellisheiðipower plant (geothermal energy) and gave a speech at the University of Iceland on “ Iceland and the United Nations:  Building a sustainable future for all”.  In his remarks, he said that Iceland is a global leader in renewable energy, giving the world a glimpse of the possibility of a sustainable, low-emissions future.  (See Press Release SG/SM/15148.)

Later, the Secretary-General had an interview with Icelandic TV.  He also visited the “Harpa” concert hall and conference centre, designed by artist Olafur Eliasson, in Reykjavik.

Then, he had a tête-à-tête meeting with the President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson at the President’s residence.

On Wednesday, 3 July, the Secretary-General flew by helicopter along the glacial river Hvítáto the river’s source, Lake Hvítárvatn.  From the lake, he flew to areas adjacent to the Langjökull glacier, where he observed the impact of climate change.

Later, the Secretary-General visited Thingvellir National Park, which is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site of tectonic plate boundaries and site of an ancient Parliament.  He met there with Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson.

The Secretary-General also visited the Blue Lagoon (geothermal spa) and Reykjanes geothermal area, before departing Iceland for Copenhagen, Denmark, that afternoon.

For information media. Not an official record.