Visits to Bahrain and Switzerland on Ban's itinerary

Visits to Bahrain and Switzerland on Ban's itinerary

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to Manama, Bahrain and Geneva, Switzerland, starting 15 May, a United Nations spokesperson announced today.

Marie Okabe told reporters Mr. Ban’s two-day visit in Manama will focus on the official launch of the 2009 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, which will take place on 17-18 May. He is set to speak at the launching ceremony, hosted by the Prime Minister of Bahrain.

“This is the UN’s first global report that identifies increasing disaster risk factors and recommends 20 actions to reduce such risks, which will have beneficial effects on broader global security, stability and sustainability,” she stated.

The report points out that investing in disaster risk reduction will help reduce poverty, safeguard development and help to adapt to climate change, she added.

While in Bahrain, Mr. Ban is scheduled to meet with Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, as well as the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister.

The Secretary-General will then travel to Geneva, where he is set to deliver the keynote speech at the World Health Assembly. He will also participate in a high-level meeting, convened by the World Health Organization (WHO), with representatives of some 20 pharmaceutical companies, to ensure that developing countries will have access to vaccines.

In addition, Mr. Ban will participate in the launch of the Innovative-8 Group (or I-8 Group) on financing for the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the globally agreed targets to reduce poverty, hunger, disease and other challenges by 2015.

While in Geneva, he will also take part in the Conference on Disarmament, as well as meet with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, Ms. Okabe said.