Activities of UN Secretary-General in Angola, 26-27 February

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NEW YORK, March 2, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon‑taek, arrived in Luanda on the afternoon of Sunday, 26 February, after a flight from Livingstone, Zambia.

First, the Secretary-General attended a town-hall meeting with United Nations staff and then attended a reception with the diplomatic corps based in Angola before being briefed by the United Nations country team.

The next morning, on Monday, 27 February, the Secretary-General travelled to Viana, a municipality near Luanda, to launch Angola's 2012 polio vaccination campaign. In remarks, he said Angola had been declared polio-free in 2001, but the virus had returned within fours years, and that was why the campaign was so important. He commended the Angolan authorities for emphasizing the campaign and funding most of it. (See Press Release SG/SM/14131)

The Secretary-General and Madam Ban administered polio vaccine drops to a number of young children. He then took part in a discussion with young people about their concerns and aspirations.

The Secretary-General held talks in Luanda at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Georges Rebelo Chikoti, the Foreign Minister.

Next, the Secretary-General held talks with President José Eduardo dos Santos at the Presidential Palace.

In both meetings, the Secretary-General discussed ways to strengthen the partnership between the United Nations and Angola, and he asked the authorities to consider contributing to United Nations peacekeeping operations, particularly by providing helicopters. The Secretary-General commended the authorities for progress on the Millennium Development Goals and encouraged them to push even harder, and to work towards a more equitable distribution of wealth.

The Secretary-General then went to the National Assembly to meet the President, or speaker, of the Parliament, António Paulo Kassoma, before visiting Kilamba Kiaxi City, a new town near Luanda.

Back in Luanda, the Secretary-General met representatives of civil society before leaving for the airport, where he gave a press conference.

The Secretary-General and Madam Ban left Luanda that night for New York on a flight through Frankfurt. He arrived in New York early in the afternoon of Tuesday, 28 February.