Activities of Secretary-General in Russian Federation, 5-8 February

10 February 2014

Activities of Secretary-General in Russian Federation, 5-8 February

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek, arrived in Sochi, Russian Federation, on Wednesday evening, 5 February, after an overnight flight from New York.

That evening the Secretary-General met first with the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, and later with other IOC leaders in the build-up to the opening of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

The next morning, Thursday, 6 February, the Secretary-General met with Wilfried Lemke, his Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace.

Next, the Secretary-General met again briefly with President Bach before attending and addressing the IOC Session, the first United Nations Secretary-General to do so.  In his remarks, he said the United Nations and IOC are not competing on the ski slopes or skating rinks but rather joining forces for shared ideals — sustainability, universality, solidarity, non-discrimination — the fundamental equality of all people.  He said the Olympics show the power of sport to bring together individuals regardless of age, race, class, religion, ability, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.  (See Press Release SG/SM/15631.)

The Secretary-General and President Bach then gave a press conference before the Secretary-General visited the Coastal Olympic Village, where he met athletes and toured the complex.  He dined with athletes from a wide range of countries in their cafeteria.

In the afternoon, the Secretary-General took part in the Olympic Torch Relay with President Bach, who ran first and passed the flame to the Secretary-General, who in turn ran and then passed the flame on to a teenage boy called Dmitry.

That evening, the Secretary-General attended a dinner for Heads of State and Government hosted by President Bach, giving the Secretary-General the chance to meet impromptu with a number of world leaders and IOC members.

On Friday morning, 7 February, the Secretary-General met with the President of the International Paralympic Committee, Sir Philip Craven.

Next the Secretary-General transferred to a coastal sanatorium where he met first with Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China, and later with President Viktor Yanukovych  of Ukraine.  Between those two meetings, the Secretary-General took a stroll along the seafront.

Later the Secretary-General attended an event  hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin before watching the opening ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi.

Early on Saturday, 8 February, the Secretary-General departed Sochi for New York, where he arrived the same afternoon.

For information media. Not an official record.