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UN chief to travel to Davos conference, then to Africa, Middle East

01-26-2012 07:45 BJT Special Report:2012 Annual Meeting of World Economic Forum |

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon said here on Wednesday that he will leave New York for Davos, Switzerland, later in the day, where he will attend the World Economic Forum before moving on to the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, followed by stops in Jordan, Israel, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Ban made the travel announcement at his first UN press conference since the Jan. 1 beginning of his second term as head of the international organization.

"Today I will leave for the World Economic Forum at Davos," Ban said. "This year, the main debate will be on topics that are front and center of the work of the United Nations -- the social contract, social issues, social justice. I look forward to hearing fresh ideas."

The forum is held each year to bring together representatives from business, government, and academia to improve the state of the world.

"I will take part in sessions on sustainable energy for all, women's and children's health, and seizing the opportunity presented by the upcoming Rio + 20 conference on sustainable development and I will have a number bilaterals with leaders participating in the Davos Forum," said Ban.

On Jan. 29, Ban said, he will travel to Addis Ababa for the African Union Summit where he said he will focus on "further deepening the vital strategic partnership between the United Nations and the African Union on many challenges including Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and other regional issues."

"Then, I will visit the Middle East -- Jordan, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories," said the secretary-general. " My visit comes at an important moment."

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators began preliminary talks in Amman, Jordan, on Jan. 3 in hopes of reinvigorating the stalled peace process. The last round of direct negotiations between Palestine and Israel stalled in Oct. 2010, after only four weeks of talks.

"I will be there to encourage both sides to re-engage in earnest and create a positive atmosphere for moving forward," Ban said.



Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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