UN chief to travel to Switzerland, Bahrain

11th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

Ban Ki-moon will travel later in May to Bahrain for a disaster reduction meeting and to conferences on health and disarmament in Geneva.

UNITED NATIONS - UN chief Ban Ki-moon is to travel to Bahrain and Switzerland later in May, his press office said Friday.

UN deputy spokeswoman Marie Okabe told a press briefing that Ban would visit Manama, Bahrain for the official launch of the 2009 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, scheduled for 17-18 May.

The United Nations secretary general was to speak at the launch ceremony hosted by Bahraini Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.

"This is the UN's first global report that identifies increasing disaster risk factors and recommends 20 actions to reduce such risks, which will have beneficial effects on broader global security, stability and sustainability," Okabe said.

The report notes that investing in disaster risk reduction will help reduce poverty, protect development and help adapt to climate change, she added.

While in Bahrain, Ban is scheduled to meet with King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, as well as Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and the prime minister.

Ban will then travel to Geneva to deliver the keynote speech at the World Health Assembly.

He was scheduled to attend a high-level meeting, convened by the World Health Organisation, with representatives of some 20 pharmaceutical companies to ensure that developing countries will have access to vaccines.

The UN chief was also to take part in the launch of the Innovative-8 Group (I-8 Group) on financing for the health-related Millennium Development Goals, the globally agreed targets to reduce poverty, hunger, disease and other challenges by 2015.

While in Geneva, Ban was to attend the Conference on Disarmament, as well as meet with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, Okabe said.

AFP / Expatica

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