President Motlanthe to host UN Secretary-General

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pretoria - President Kgalema Motlanthe will on Wednesday host the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on his first official visit to South Africa.

"The Secretary-General's visit takes place against the background of South Africa's conviction that the multilateral system of global governance remains the only solution to challenges facing humanity today," said Department of foreign Affairs.

The two leaders will also discuss African developments including developments in Zimbabwe, DRC, Sudan, Somalia, Madagascar the Middle East situation and the global financial crisis.

While in South Africa, Mr Ban will meet among others Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, as well as former president Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

This will be his first visit to South Africa and the SADC region by Mr Ban since his assumption of the office of the Secretary-General of the UN.

In this regard, the e UN chief's visit is part of his African tour which will also include Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Egypt.

According to his office, Mr Ban will then undertake his first official visit to Tanzania, meeting President Jakaya Kikwete, visiting the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha and also UN development and other programmes.

Mr Ban's next stop will be the DRC where he will meet with President Joseph Kabila, with parliamentarians as well as members of civil society, this in a move to encourage the central African country's peace process.

He will then go to Bukavu to visit Panzi Hospital, where victims of sexual violence are cared for.

In Goma, he will meet with members of the UN peacekeeping mission, MONUC, and with local authorities. He will also visit in Goma the Mugunga camp for people displaced by conflict before flying to Rwanda to meet with President Paul Kagame.

Mr Ban is expected to discuss with Presidents Kabila and Kagame the tensions between their countries, mostly provoked by Rwanda's incursions into the DRC to hunt down the Hutu militias who fled Rwanda after participating in the genocide against Tutsis in 1994.

He will then travel to Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt where he will participate in the international conference in support of the Palestinian economy, for the reconstruction of Gaza.