Back from a one-day visit to Washington, D.C., Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said he had held productive talks with Congressional leaders in the United States capital.
"I had a very good discussion with members of both parties," the Secretary-General told reporters as he entered United Nations Headquarters in New York this morning.
Asked if he had come away from his visit more encouraged about UN relations with the United States, Mr. Annan answered, "Yes, you can say that."
"Obviously I had gone to Washington to see the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader; by the time I got there, roles had changed," Mr. Annan observed, referring to a shift in control of the Senate from the Republicans to the Democrats. "But both gentlemen received me very well and were very supportive."
Meanwhile, a UN spokesman announced today that the Secretary-General will return to Washington D.C. on 31 May to deliver the keynote speech to the Global Health Council.
The following day, Mr. Annan is scheduled to address a breakfast meeting which will be attended by some 500 members of the US Chamber of Commerce. According to the spokesman, the Secretary-General will use that occasion to seek support for his proposed Global AIDS and Health Fund.