United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek, left Hangzhou, China, on Tuesday, 6 September, for Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, for the 8th Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
Upon arrival, he visited a hospital supported by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Health Organization, and met with some patients being treated for their addiction.
He later met with the Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha, with whom he discussed the political and security situation in the country, and the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, on Cambodia’s contribution to United Nations peacekeeping operations, among other issues.
The following day, Wednesday, 7 September, the Secretary-General participated in the ASEAN-UN Summit. In his remarks, he stressed ASEAN’s vital and growing role in ensuring peace and stability in the region and beyond, and praised the progress made in building strong ties between the two organizations over the past 10 years. (See Press Releases SG/SM/18038 and SG/SM/18039.)
Before the Summit, the Secretary-General visited the Training Centre of the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme and participated in the launch of SDG18 for Lao, a national sustainable development goal aiming to remove the unexploded ordnance that affects millions of people across this country. (See Press Release SG/SM/18036.)
On top of these activities, he launched the Lao PDR-UN Partnership Framework. (See Press Release SG/SM/18037.) He met with President Bounnhang Vorachith and Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, to whom he expressed appreciation for the Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s strong Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2016, and for the ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
On Thursday, 8 September, the Secretary-General addressed the East Asia Summit, saying that coordination and consistency across and beyond East Asia are essential to meeting regional and global challenges. (See Press Release SG/SM/18043.)
The Secretary-General also held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Viet Nam, during which they discussed the Sustainable Development Goals and disaster management, as well as regional issues, including the South China Sea.
The Secretary-General left Vientiane in the afternoon and got back to New York late that night.