United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today held talks with Ecuador's President Lucio Gutiérrez Borbúa during the second leg of his four-nation tour of South America.
Mr. Annan is scheduled to address the National Congress of Ecuador later today in the capital, Quito. He will also inaugurate the UN House and meet leaders of Ecuador's civil society.
Last night, Mr. Annan and his wife, Nane, were met by Foreign Minister Patricio Zuquilanda when they arrived in Quito. Later they toured the city's old town, which was declared a Cultural Patrimony of Mankind by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1978.
Mrs. Annan spoke to Ecuadorian women leaders today in a meeting organized by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). Later she is expected to tour a water and sanitation project in a poor district of Quito.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Annans visited Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, a World Natural Heritage site since 1978. The Secretary-General spoke about the value of environmental protection.
The Secretary-General arrived on Friday evening in Ecuador at Guayaquil, the country's largest city and main port. He was greeted by Vice-President Alfredo Palacio and then went on to the City Hall of Guayaquil, where he delivered a speech noting that the city was respected "all over the world for its visionary planning and its vibrant economy."
Tonight the Annans will fly to Lima, Peru, for the third leg of their South American tour. The final stop will be in Bolivia.