Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon held talks about the pressing global issue of climate change today with the Spanish Prime Minister during the latest leg of an international trip that has already taken the United Nations chief to Antarctica and South America.
The Secretary-General and Spain’s José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero spent more than an hour in Madrid discussing the issue, including the launch in Valencia in a few days of the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), UN spokesperson Marie Okabe told reporters.
She said Mr. Ban briefed Mr. Zapatero on his observations from his trip so far, which has included a historic visit by a UN Secretary-General to Antarctica, where he witnessed first-hand the melting glaciers as a result of global warming. Climate change was also atop the agenda during Mr. Ban’s stops in Argentina, Chile and Brazil.
During their meeting Mr. Ban and Mr. Zapatero also discussed counter-terrorism, the Middle East, the situation in Kosovo, the Alliance of Civilizations initiative, the Darfur crisis and Western Sahara. In two months Mr. Ban is scheduled to return to Spain for a meeting of the Alliance.
Mr. Ban is now heading to Tunis to participate in an international counter-terrorism conference set up by the UN, the Tunisian Government and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
In addition, Ms. Okabe said the Secretary-General will travel to Lebanon soon to focus on the upcoming presidential election in that country. Mr. Ban hopes to hold meetings with Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri and Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir of the Maronite Church.