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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on August 25th, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

UN DAILY NEWS from the UNITED NATIONS NEWS SERVICE – 24 August, 2009.

SECRETARY-GENERAL TO DEPART FOR AUSTRIA, NORWAY AND SWITZERLAND

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will depart on Thursday on a three-nation
trip that will include the 30th anniversary celebrations of the United
Nations headquarters in Austria, an official visit to Norway that will also
take him to the Polar ice rim and a stop in Switzerland for a global
climate conference.

While in the Austrian capital, Mr. Ban will commemorate the 30th
anniversary of the Vienna International Centre and meet with Vienna-based
UN organizations and staff, UN spokesperson Michele Montas announced today.

Designed by Austrian architect Johann Staber, the Centre was handed over to
the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on 23 August 1979.

Mr. Ban will deliver the keynote address at the Opening of the Political
Symposium of the European Forum Alpbach, as well as meet with the Federal
President and Foreign Minister of Austria and with the Prime Minister of
Liechtenstein.

The Secretary-General will then go to Oslo, Norway, for an official visit
where he is scheduled to meet on 31 August with the Norwegian Prime
Minister and the Foreign Minister.

From Oslo, the Mr. Ban will travel to Svalbard, in the Arctic Ocean, to see
firsthand the impact of climate change in the Arctic, said Ms. Montas.

“Over the course of his two-day trip, he will visit polar research stations
and the Global Seed Vault, get the latest updates on issues relating to the
thinning ice and make his way to the Polar ice rim,” she told reporters in
New York.

The visit to the ice rim is part of the Secretary-General’s ongoing efforts
to push for action ahead of a major climate change conference to be held in
December in Copenhagen, where Member States will aim to “seal the deal” on
a new global greenhouse gas emissions reduction pact to succeed the Kyoto
Protocol.

It follows Mr. Ban’s visit – the first by a UN Secretary-General – to
Antarctica in November 2007, during which he saw the effects of climate
change on the continent’s melting glaciers.

The UN chief’s last stop will be the Swiss city of Geneva, where he will
participate on 3 September in the opening of the high-level segment of the
Third World Climate Conference of the World Meteorological Organization
(WMO), the UN agency dealing with weather, climate and water.

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