Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will travel next week to South Sudan, soon to be the world’s newest country, for its independence celebrations, his spokesperson announced today.
Mr. Ban will arrive in Juba, which will be the capital of the new State, on Friday, and meet with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit and peacekeeping troops, staff and management of the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS).
On Saturday he will attend the independence ceremony in Juba to mark the formal founding of South Sudan, six months after its residents voted in a UN-backed referendum to secede from the rest of Sudan.
Before he visits South Sudan, Mr. Ban will travel to Valencia, Spain, and then to Geneva, his spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters.
In Valencia, Mr. Ban will inaugurate the new UN support base on Wednesday, while in Madrid he will take part in a meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the co-chair of the MDGs Advocacy Group.
The Secretary-General will also hold bilateral meetings with Mr. Zapatero and Spain’s Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiménez.
In Geneva, he will host a meeting on Thursday with Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu. It will be a follow-up to previous meetings between the Secretary-General and the two leaders in New York in November last year and in Geneva in January.
He will also launch the 2011 MDGs report during the annual high-level segment of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).