Activities of Secretary-General in Mali, Including Stopover in France, 4-6 November

8 November 2013

Activities of Secretary-General in Mali, Including Stopover in France, 4-6 November

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Bamako from New York on the evening of Monday, 4 November.  He had flown first to Paris from where he took an onward flight to Mali.

In Paris, he had a brief meeting with his predecessor, Kofi Annan.

On arrival in Bamako, the Secretary-General met a number of Malian officials, and spoke to reporters explaining the purpose of his four-country visit to the Sahel region with World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim; Andris Piebalgs, European Union Commissioner for Development;  African Union Commission Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma; and African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka.

On Tuesday morning, 5 November, the Secretary-General and the other four travelling leaders met President Boubacar Keita of Mali before then attending the opening session of a regional ministerial meeting on the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel.

In his remarks, the Secretary-General noted the strategy had been endorsed by the Security Council and that the plan put a priority on governance, security and resilience.  “The joint visit of our five institutions is a symbol of our commitment.  We are here to express our solidarity through words and to show it through action.  I am pleased that our visit has already mobilized more than $8 billion in new investments in development.  I salute the World Bank and the European Union for the combined commitments announced yesterday.  This is exactly what we want and we are ready to work with all of you in the region,” he said.  (See Press Release SG/SM/15441.)

After the opening session, the Secretary-General flew to Timbuktu with the World Bank President and the European Union Commissioner for Development.  On arrival in Timbuktu, the Secretary-General visited the Djingareyber Mosque, where he and the World Bank President and European Union Commissioner were guided through the vast interior by the Mosque’s Great Imam.

He next transferred to the Ahmed Baba Institute of Higher Learning and Islamic Research where he viewed manuscripts damaged during the time the city was held by extremists.  At the institute, the Secretary-General also met with community, religious and civil society leaders, and told them the United Nations and the international community stood by the people of Timbuktu and Mali.  (See Press Releases SG/SM/15442 and SG/SM/15443.)

Before returning to Bamako, the Secretary-General attended a working lunch with the Prime Minister and other Government officials.

Back in Bamako, the Secretary-General gave a joint press conference with the African Union Commission Chairperson, World Bank President and European Union Commissioner for Development.

The Secretary-General met staff of the United Nations peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), at their headquarters and then attended a dinner at the Presidential Palace.

Early on Wednesday morning, the Secretary-General left Bamako for Niamey, where he arrived that same morning on the next leg of his Sahel visit.

For information media. Not an official record.