Activities of Secretary-General in Greece, 17-19 June

SG/T/3109
22 June 2016

Activities of Secretary-General in Greece, 17-19 June

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by his wife, Ban Soon-taek, flew on Friday, 17 June, from St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, to Athens, Greece, for an official visit to the country.

Upon arrival in Greece, he visited refugees and other vulnerable people at the Athens Solidarity Centre.  He then attended an official dinner hosted by Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the President of Greece.

On Saturday, 18 June, the Secretary-General met with the Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras.  In a joint press conference following that meeting, the Secretary-General said that Greece deserved greater support and should not be left to address the challenge of the refugee crisis on its own.  He then had a separate meeting with Greece’s Foreign Minister, Nikos Kotzias.

Following these meetings, the Secretary-General left Athens for the island of Lesbos, where he had lunch with Greek volunteers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) assisting refugees and migrants.

He then visited the Moria “hotspot” Reception and Identification Centre in Lesbos, as well as the Kara Tepe Open Accommodation Site, where he met with several refugees and migrants.

He then had a meeting with the Mayor of Lesbos, Spyridon Galinos, and spoke to NGOs, volunteers, local community and media in the municipal garden, where he called on the countries of Europe to respond with a humane and human rights-based approach to the refugee crisis.

On Sunday, 19 June, the Secretary-General visited the Acropolis in Athens before leaving Greece for New York, where he arrived in the afternoon.

For information media. Not an official record.