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Secretary-General arrives in Buenos Aires for first leg of South American tour

Secretary-General arrives in Buenos Aires for first leg of South American tour

Ban Ki-moon (R) and Foreign Minister Taiana
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon began his official visit to Argentina today, the first stop on a trip that will also take him also to Chile and Brazil in the coming days.

Mr. Ban is scheduled to meet Argentina’s Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana in Buenos Aires today, as well as the presidents of the country’s Senate and Chamber of Deputies.

This evening, the Secretary-General and Madame Ban Soon-taek will meet with the country’s President and President-elect, Nestor Kirchner and Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Yesterday at UN Headquarters, Mr. Ban spoke to reporters about his visit to Argentina, Chile and Brazil, which he said were politically and economically important members of the UN that also play a key role in efforts to address climate change issues.

While in Chile, the Secretary-General is expected to attend the Ibero-American Summit, and meet with the country’s leaders. He will also head to Punta Arenas, in southern Chile, and Antarctica to learn more about climate change – an issue Mr. Ban has said of his priority issues.

Mr. Ban will learn more about Brazil’s efforts to confront climate change when he visits an ethanol plant near Sao Paulo, and Tapajós National Forest in the country’s Amazon region. The Secretary-General is also scheduled to meet Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

After his visit to Latin America, Mr. Ban will travel to Tunisia, where he will attend an international counter-terrorism conference, organized by the UN, the Tunisian Government and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

From there, he heads to Valencia, Spain, to participate in launching the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“This is going to be a very hectic, 12-day-long trip, but it will be, I am sure, very rewarding,” Mr. Ban told reporters prior to his departure from New York.