Secretary-General to depart on two-week visit to Europe

27 June 2007

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will depart this weekend for a two-week trip to Europe that will take him to Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Belgium and the United Kingdom, a spokesperson for the world body announced today.

Mr. Ban’s first stop will be Geneva, where he is scheduled to open the high-level portion of the annual month-long session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on 2 July, spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York.

From Geneva, he will travel to Rome to attend the Conference on the Rule of Law in Afghanistan, which will be chaired by the UN and the Afghan and Italian Governments.

Mr. Ban will travel back to Geneva for the Global Compact Leaders Summit on 5-6 July, which is expected to be the largest gathering ever held by the UN on the issue of corporate citizenship, featuring an international roster of business leaders, government ministers and heads of civil society. After that, the Secretary-General will embark on an official visit to Portugal.

He will then head to Brussels, where he plans to attend the first meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development, hosted by the Belgian Government from 9 to 11 July. The idea for such a forum was first proposed by then Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2006.

Mr. Ban will also make an official visit to the United Kingdom, before returning to New York on 12 July, Ms. Montas said.