United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Ashgabat in the late evening on Friday, 25 November, on a flight from Dubai.
On Saturday, 26 November, the Secretary-General first took part in a flower-laying ceremony at the Independence Monument of Turkmenistan before greeting high-level participants of the Global Sustainable Transport Conference together with Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the President of Turkmenistan. (See Press Release SG/SM/18302.)
The Secretary-General spoke at the opening of the conference, saying the world had the resolve, commitment, imagination and creativity to transform transport systems in a sustainable manner that will improve human well-being, enhance social progress and protect the planet. (See Press Release SG/SM/18303.)
Next the Secretary-General and the President opened a new United Nations House in Ashgabat that was provided by the Government of Turkmenistan. The Secretary-General spoke at the opening, toured the building, addressed staff and greeted local people. (See Press Release SG/SM/18304.)
The Secretary-General then visited the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, where he met staff. In the afternoon, the Secretary-General gave a press conference with a focus on the Global Sustainable Transport Conference. He also made remarks there about the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro Ruz on 25 November, which had been announced earlier in the day.
Next the Secretary-General spoke at an event on Turkmenistan’s work on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals that was attended by local students and officials involved in the country’s work on the Goals. (See Press Release SG/SM/18305.)
He then met the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili. He also held talks with President Berdimuhamedov before meeting the United Nations country team. The Secretary-General left Ashgabat that evening on a flight to Dubai and then flew on to New York early on Sunday, 27 November, arriving there the same day.