Press Releases

    12 July 2004

    Kofi Annan to Travel to Vienna on Private Visit

    VIENNA, 12 July (UN Information Service) – United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will be in Vienna in mid-July. While here, he will meet with the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, besides a proposed meeting with Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

    The aim of the High-Level Panel is to recommend clear and practical measures for ensuring effective collective action, based upon a rigorous analysis of future threats to peace and security, an appraisal of the contribution collective action can make, and a thorough assessment of existing approaches, instruments and mechanisms, including the principal organs of the United Nations.

    The Secretary-General has been on an extended trip that took him to the Middle East, Africa and Asia. He is coming to Vienna from Bangkok, Thailand, where he addressed the 15th International AIDS Conference and also spoke at the opening ceremony of the 2nd Asia-Pacific Ministerial Meeting on HIV/AIDS. 

    While in Africa, Mr. Annan visited displaced persons' camps in Darfur, Sudan, and refugee camps in neighbouring Chad. To date, the conflict in all of Darfur has left 1.2 million Sudanese displaced from their homes, 800,000 others affected by the war and in need of assistance, and 150,000 refugees driven across the border into Chad.

    The Secretary-General’s negotiations with the Government of Sudan resulted in a joint communiqué, which lays out specific actions to be taken by the Government as well as by the United Nations to relieve the suffering in Darfur, and find a political solution to the crisis there. Among other things, Sudan pledged to start disarming the Janjaweed militia immediately and to resume political talks in the shortest possible time.

    Mr. Annan discussed his findings from Sudan and Chad with leaders attending the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he also talked about the crisis in the Ivory Coast, the Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Liberia, as well as Burundi. Then, via satellite link from Nairobi, Kenya, the Secretary-General briefed the United Nations Security Council in closed consultations, on what he saw and discussions he held regarding Sudan.

    He also visited Asmara, Eritrea, where he visited the Headquarters of the UN peacekeeping mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia and met with the Eritrean President. In Nairobi, Kenya, he met with the Kenyan President and Kenyan negotiators dealing with Sudan and with Somalia.

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