Secretary-General to make official visit to Bulgaria, Turkey and Switzerland

2 May 2011

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel to Bulgaria on Wednesday for the first leg of a three-country visit that will also take the United Nations chief to Istanbul, Turkey, and Geneva, Switzerland.

Mr. Ban will meet with Bulgaria’s President Georgi Parvanov, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov as well as the country’s Speaker of Parliament and other legislators, according to information released by his spokesperson today.

While in the Bulgarian capital Mr. Ban will address the Sofia Platform, a conference bringing together politicians, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), journalists and experts to discuss the experiences of Central and Eastern Europe since 1989 and this year’s developments in North Africa and the Middle East.

He is also scheduled to address students and NGO representatives at the University of Sofia.

The Secretary-General then travels to Turkey to open the fourth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs), a five-day event starting on 9 May in Istanbul in which the world’s most economically vulnerable countries will discuss how to strengthen their economies and reduce poverty.

The conference is being attended by several other top UN officials as well as many heads of State and government.

Mr. Ban’s final stop of the trip will be in Geneva, where he will open the third session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction and the second International Forum on Sport for Peace and Development.

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