United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon left Hamburg, Germany, in the evening of Friday, 7 October, for Reykjavik to participate in the Assembly of the Arctic Circle, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon-taek.
The Secretary-General then addressed the Assembly of the Arctic Circle, during which he was awarded the first-ever Arctic Circle Prize. In his remarks, he stressed that the Arctic is ground zero for climate change and that we must now turn words into deeds, including through the financial resources necessary to help developing countries in reducing their emissions and adapting to inevitable climate impacts. (See Press Release SG/SM/18188.)
During a joint press conference with the Foreign Minister, he said he counted on the Icelandic Government’s strong engagement for sustainable development, climate change and gender equality.
After a meeting with Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, former President of Iceland and President of the Arctic Circle, the Secretary-General attended a presentation by the Uninited Nations University on its Iceland Programmes, and visited the National Museum.
He then addressed a seminar at the University of Iceland on the thirtieth Anniversary of the Reagan-Gorbachev Reykjavik Summit, saying that more than 15,000 nuclear weapons remain in the world and that our common aspirations for peace, human rights and sustainable development require us to find a new paradigm for sustainable security without reliance on weapons of mass destruction. (See Press Release SG/SM/18189.)
On Sunday, 9 October, the Secretary-General visited several sites in Iceland, along with Foreign Minister Alfreðsdóttir, before flying back to New York where he arrived in the evening.