Press Releases

    4 April 2004

    United Nations Secretary-General Concludes Austria Visit

    VIENNA, 4 April (UN Information Service) -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrapped up a two-day meeting on Saturday, 3 April 2004, with more than two dozen heads of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes in Baden, Austria. At the end of a closed session on Saturday morning, attended by principals only, the United Nations Chief Executives jointly issued an appeal for an end to the serious human rights violations taking place in Darfur, Sudan.

    Mr. Annan arrived in Austria on 1 April 2004, for the spring session of United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), made up of the heads of United Nations (UN) agencies, funds and programmes.  The World Tourism Organization is the most recent addition to the meeting, having been recently added as a specialized agency of the United Nations. This meeting is a chance for the heads of these entities to meet, as they do twice a year, to coordinate policies. This spring’s meeting was hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna.

    Shortly after his arrival on 1 April, the Secretary-General met with Heinz Fischer, the former President of the Austrian National Council.  They had a wide-ranging discussion of international issues, starting with Cyprus.  They also touched on Iraq, Kosovo, North Korea, the Middle East, UN reform and Austria’s relations with the United Nations. The Secretary-General then met with Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner.  Their talks focussed on Cyprus, the situation in Iraq and the Middle East; they also reviewed Austrian-UN relations.  Afterwards, the Secretary-General met one-on-one with Austrian President Thomas Klestil.  He and the President jointly called on Crown Prince Abdullah of  Saudi Arabia who was in Vienna on an official visit. They talked of efforts to make progress in the search for peace in light of Israel’s declared intention to begin withdrawing unilaterally from Palestinian areas. They also had an extended discussion of the situation in Iraq and the prospective UN role there in light of the security challenge.

    The spring session of the CEB was opened by Mr. Annan on the morning of 2 April at the Vienna International Centre. After a three-hour regular session, the members of the CEB attended a luncheon  hosted by the Director-General of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency. The CEB members then flew by helicopter to a resort at Baden, just outside of Vienna, where they had a three-hour private discussion, followed by dinner hosted by Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

    The Secretary General departed Vienna in the morning of 4 April, and will proceed to Moscow for an official visit of the Russian Federation.

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