Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of United Nations, speaks during the high-level segment of the UNCTAD XII held in Accra, capital of Ghana, April 21, 2008. The high-level segment of the 12th Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XII) held here on Monday morning with the issue "Trade and development for Africa's prosperity". UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Ghanaian President John Kufuor, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Finnish President Tarja Halonen and Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma were among the participants.(Xinhua/Wang Ying)
ACCRA, April 19 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in the Ghanaian capital Accra Saturday night to begin a four-nation West African tour, which will also take him Liberia, Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire.
On Sunday, Ban will address the opening of the 12th
UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), a quadrennial event. This
year's conference is being held against the backdrop of rising global food
"The UN Conference on Trade and Development could not
have come at a more crucial time," Ban said upon arrival at Accra airport.
Soaring food prices have triggered unrest in some
hard-hit countries, such as Haiti, Egypt and the Philippines. The recent riots
in Haiti forced Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis to step down.
"This is a worrisome situation, as it poses a threat to the stability of many developing countries," the secretary general said, adding that concerted international action was urgently needed to tackle the issue.
High-level officials and heads of states attend the high-level segment of the UNCTAD XII held in Accra, capital of Ghana, April 21, 2008. The high-level segment of the 12th Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XII) held here on Monday morning with the issue "Trade and development for Africa's prosperity".(Xinhua/Wang Ying)
Ban said he also intends to address a number of
African political issues, either in the conference proper or during talks on the
He is scheduled to meet with Ghanaian President John
Kufuor and Foreign Minister Akwasi Osei-Adjei before leaving Accra Monday for
the Liberian capital Monrovia, where he will meet with that country's leadership
as well as members of the UN Mission and UN Country Team there.
On Tuesday, Ban Ki-Moon will head to Ouagadougou,
capital of Burkina Faso, where he will meet with President Blaise Compaore, the
facilitator of the Inter-Ivorian Dialogue and Chairman of the Economic Community
of West African States (ECOWAS).
The secretary general will travel to Abidjan, Cote
d'Ivoire, on Wednesday, and is scheduled to hold talks with President Laurent
Gbagbo, Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, opposition leaders and members of civil
Ban will also meet with the leadership of the UN peacekeeping mission in Cote d'Ivoire.