Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived today in Turkmenistan to kick off his first visit to Central Asia since becoming the United Nations chief three years ago.
The five-nation tour will also include stops in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.
While in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, Mr. Ban will meet on Friday with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, and visit the Office of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia (UNRCCA).
Set up in 2007, the Centre works to help the five governments in the region to increase their capacities to peacefully prevent conflict, facilitate dialogue and respond to cross-border threats and challenges such as terrorism, drug trafficking and environmental degradation.
Following the Central Asia visit, the Secretary-General is scheduled to travel to Vienna for meetings with senior Austrian Government officials, and to address the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
He will also chair the spring session of the Chief Executives Board (CEB), the twice-yearly gathering of the heads of 27 agencies, funds and programmes within the UN system.