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SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, TRADE TO TOP AGENDA AS BAN VISITS FINLAND AND SWITZERLAND

By United Nations
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11 July - Sustainable development and global trade will be the focus of Secretary-General

Ban Ki-moon's visits to Finland and Switzerland later this week, his spokesperson announced today.

On Friday, Mr. Ban will meet with President Tarja Halonen of Finland, spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York.

They will participate in a panel discussion about sustainable development in SuomiAreena, during which they will discuss the role of the UN in advancing the goals of sustainable development.

The discussions come as preparations continue for the Fourth UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, which will be held in the Brazilian city in June 2012.

After visiting Finland, the Secretary-General will travel to Geneva, where he will meet with President Micheline Calmy-Rey of Switzerland and attend the Third Global Aid for Trade Review of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Aid for Trade aims to help developing countries, particularly least developed countries, develop the trade-related skills and infrastructure that is needed to implement and benefit from WTO agreements and to expand their trade.

The two-day review, which begins on 18 July, will provide an overview of what is – and is not – happening in the delivery of Aid for Trade, including current flows, existing gaps, and where improvements need to be made.