Annan to tour Central America en route to key UN development forum in Mexico

Annan to tour Central America en route to key UN development forum in Mexico

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will head to Central America later this week with stops in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Honduras before arriving in Mexico to open the International Conference on Financing for Development in Monterrey, a UN spokesman announced today.

Mr. Annan, who will hold a news conference in New York on Wednesday, will meet with top-level officials in Nicaragua, where he is also expected to receive an award and visit a UN Development Programme (UNDP) water project, according to spokesman Fred Eckhard.

On Friday, the Secretary-General will head to Costa Rica, where he is scheduled to visit the University of Peace and meet President Miguel Angel Rodriguez, Mr. Eckhard said. Mr. Annan will then proceed to Honduras to meet President Ricardo Maduro. "On Tuesday he will launch a National Forum on HIV/AIDS before flying to Mexico City," the spokesman noted.

While in Mexico City, the Secretary-General will meet with President Vicente Fox and members of Congress before travelling to Monterrey to open the International Conference on Financing for Development on Thursday morning. At the forum, which is expected to attract more than 50 heads of State and government, Mr. Annan will hold "a number of bilateral meetings in its margins," the spokesman said.