Annan slated to spotlight challenge of development in upcoming Canada trip

4 March 2004

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will spotlight the need to place development at the centre of the global agenda during a two-day tour of Canada starting on Monday.

Mr. Annan will address that theme - as well as the task of finding more effective ways to tackle new and old challenges - in an address to a joint hearing of the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, the national capital.

He is also expected to discuss Canada's long history of contributing towards international cooperation, including in UN peacekeeping operations.

While in Ottawa, the Secretary-General will hold talks with Prime Minister Paul Martin and other members of his cabinet, including the foreign affairs, defence and development ministers.

UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said today that Mr. Annan - who will be accompanied by his wife Nane on the official visit - will hold a separate meeting with Adrienne Clarkson, Canada's Governor-General.

The Secretary-General will also meet Canadian Supreme Court judge Louise Arbour, who has just been appointed as the next UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Mr. Eckhard said Mr. Annan would lay wreaths at the monument for UN peacekeepers and the memorial for fallen Canadian humanitarian workers. He will also receive honorary degrees from the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.


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