Activities of Secretary-General in Hungary, 8-9 October

11 October 2013

Activities of Secretary-General in Hungary, 8-9 October

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon‑taek, arrived in Budapest on the morning of Tuesday, 8 October, after an overnight flight from New York and a transfer through Frankfurt.

He first had a working lunch with the President of Hungary, János Áder, at the Sandor Palace.

The Secretary-General then took part, with President Áder and a number of other visiting leaders, in the Budapest Water Summit.  In his remarks, he said that water holds the key to sustainable development.  He said we need it for health, food security and economic progress.  Yet, each year brings new pressures, and by 2030 nearly half the world’s population could be facing water scarcity.  The Secretary-General said water is wasted and poorly used by all sectors in all countries.  We must use what we have more equitably and wisely, and we cannot expect Governments to do this alone.  He said guaranteeing a water secure world will require the full engagement of all actors, not least the world of business.  (See Press Release SG/SM/15377.)

While at the Summit venue, the Secretary-General also spoke to reporters along with the Hungarian President and held a meeting with Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, who chairs the Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation.

From the Summit, the Secretary-General transferred to Parliament, where he met the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán.

Next, the Secretary-General delivered a lecture at Budapest's Corvinus University, where he received an honorary doctorate on behalf of the United Nations.  He noted the General Assembly meetings last month had brought progress on several fronts and wide prominence for the role of the United Nations, including on the crisis in Syria.  But, he said, as we handle Syria and other emergencies, we should not overlook longer-term challenges, and none were more critical than sustainable development.  (See Press Release SG/SM/15378.)

After the lecture, the Secretary-General met with the Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Lamberto Zannier and later had a working dinner with János Martonyi, the Foreign Minister of Hungary.

On the morning of Wednesday, 9 October, the Secretary-General met with the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization, José Graziano da Silva and the heads of United Nations offices based in Budapest.

Later that morning, the Secretary-General and Madam Ban left Budapest for Brunei Darussalam, where he arrived the next day.

For information media. Not an official record.