Arab spring, African crises and global health on UN chief’s agenda at G8 summit

26 May 2011

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in the French resort of Deauville today to participate in the summit of the Group of Eight (G-8) industrialized countries and speak on issues such as the pro-democracy movement in the Arab world, crises in Africa and women’s and children’s health.

Mr. Ban is due to participate in sessions of the so-called G8 Outreach Programme, where he is expected to continue to advocate for sustained attention to women’s and children’s health as a cornerstone of the global development agenda.

At the G8 summit in Canada last year, industrialized countries adopted an initiative to boost efforts to improve maternal and child health in poorer countries, urging the world to ensure that no woman died while giving birth.

The Secretary-General will also speak tomorrow at the G8 working session on the wave of pro-democracy movements that have risen up across North Africa and the Middle East, commonly referred to as the “Arab Spring,” and address a separate session on regional crises in Africa.

On his way to Deauville today, Mr. Ban met with the President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, as well as several other leaders.

The UN chief arrived in France from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he took part in the African Union Summit on Peace and Security Issues in Africa.

In a series of meetings with leaders attending the AU summit, Mr. Ban discussed issues such as Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Côte d’Ivoire, as well as climate change and sustainable development.


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In Africa, UN chief spotlights progress in improving women’s and children’s health

Visiting health workers in Ethiopia today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spotlighted the progress made in improving the health of women and children, while also stressing the need to do more to avoid needless deaths.