United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres flew from Fiji to Vanuatu on Saturday, 18 May.
Upon arrival, he paid a courtesy call to the President of Vanuatu, Obed Moses Tallis. He then held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas , following which they held a joint press encounter.
At lunchtime the Secretary-General took part in a traditional kava ceremony and then a luncheon hosted by the Prime Minister. After that, he walked to the new United Nations House and cut a ribbon to inaugurate the premises. He was interviewed there by Agence France Presse.
In the afternoon, the Secretary-General visited a Port Vila Market House project “Markets for Change” which is managed by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women). He then took a walk along the sea and he filmed a short social media message by a pier.
He later went to a community centre where he saw a play put together by youth on the topic of sexual harassment. Finally, he visited a resilient crops nursery which is a project co-managed by the United Nations Development Programme.
The Secretary-General left Vanuatu in the late afternoon for New York, transiting through Sydney, where he stayed the night and departed Sydney on Sunday, 19 May, arriving in New York later the same day.
In a statement following his visit, he praised small islands for their determination to tackle the global climate emergency and their actions to increase their resilience and capacity to adapt. However, he stressed that climate change cannot be stopped by small island countries alone. It needs to be done with the rest of the world. (See Press Release SG/SM/19584.)
In a separate tweet, he said after his visit that he is now “more convinced than ever that the global climate emergency is the battle of our lives — a battle we can and must win”.