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Source: PLO/Palestine
Egypt
2 February 1999

2 February 1999

Press Release
SG/T/2168

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SECRETARY-GENERAL'S ACTIVITIES IN DAVOS, SWITZERLAND
29 JANUARY - 1 FEBRUARY 1999
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(Received from a spokesman travelling with the Secretary-General.)

The Secretary-General arrived in Davos in the afternoon of 29 January, to participate in the World Economic Forum, whose theme at this session was "Responsible Globality: Managing the Impact of Globalization". Upon arriving at his hotel, he was asked by journalists to comment on the decision of the Contact Group just adopted in London on the situation in Kosovo. He replied that he hoped, now that the international community had come together and put pressure on the parties to come to the negotiating table, that they would see the wisdom of settling the issue politically.

That evening, the Secretary-General met with senior United Nations officials to review the topics to be dealt with at the Forum in the context of the partnership between the United Nations and civil society. He met with Pino Arlacchi, Executive Director of the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention; Sadako Ogata, High Commissioner for Refugees; Mary Robinson, High Commissioner for Human Rights; Juan Somavia, Director-General-elect of the International Labour Organization (ILO); and John Ruggie, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General. On his first full day in Davos, the Secretary-General had breakfast with Flavio Cotti, the Swiss Foreign Minister, as well as Swiss parliamentarians and business leaders. They discussed the Secretary-General's initiative which he would launch at the World Economic Forum.

At 9:30 a.m., the Secretary-General met with Ruth Dreifuss, the President of Switzerland. They discussed Swiss/United Nations relations, the illegal trade of small arms and United Nations reform. At 10 a.m., the Secretary-General met with the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Yevgeny Primakov. They discussed the situations in Iraq and the Middle East. Regarding the conflict in Kosovo, they welcomed the decision of the Contact Group and agreed that the situation needed a peaceful and political solution.

At 10:45 a.m., the Secretary-General met with the Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chrétien. They discussed the United Nations financial situation and exchanged views on Iraq and Kosovo. They also reviewed current conflicts in Africa, including Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea and Ethiopia, and Sierra Leone.

At 12:30 p.m., the Secretary-General met with Klaus Schwab, President of the World Economic Forum. Later in the afternoon, at 3 p.m., he met with Alexander Downer, Foreign Minister of Australia. They discussed the Iraqi crisis and the latest developments in East Timor. At 3:30 p.m., Mr. Annan met with the President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Their discussions focused on situations in Africa, including Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Libya. At 4:30 p.m., the Secretary-General met with the Prime Minister of Slovenia, Janez Drnovšek. Their discussions centred on the situation in Kosovo.

He later met with the Prime Minister of Norway, Kjell Magne Bondevik, with whom he discussed United Nations reform, as well as the situation in the Middle East and the conflicts in Kosovo and the Sudan. The Secretary-General then took part in a Philanthropists Private Meeting organized by the President of the United Nations Foundation, Timothy Wirth. This was attended, among others, by Ted Turner, George Soros, Bill Gates and Nicolas Hayek.

At 6:30 p.m., the Secretary-General met with the President of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, and the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Amr Moussa. They discussed the situations in the Middle East and Africa, as well as Kosovo and Iraq.

On Sunday, 31 January, a breakfast press briefing was held for a group of journalists on "The Davos Initiative", which formed the basis of the Secretary-General's keynote address to the World Economic Forum later that day. The initiative, which outlines a global compact of universal values between the United Nations system and the business community, was explained by John Ruggie, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, and Georg Kell, an economist in the Secretary-General's Office.

At 9:30 a.m., the Secretary-General met with the Foreign Minister of Iran, Kamal Kharrazi. They discussed Afghanistan and the Iraqi crisis, as well as the implementation of the last General Assembly resolution proclaiming 2001 as International Year of Dialogue among Civilizations. The Secretary- General expressed his appreciation for the support given to the United Nations by the Organization of Islamic Conference. During that day, the Secretary- General met successively with the Mayor of Buenos Aires, Fernando de la Ra; Belgian Senator Alain Destexhe; Lee Kuan Yew, Senior Minister of Singapore; and GÅran Lindahl, President and CEO of Asia Brown Boveri Ltd.

At 5 p.m., the Secretary-General was guest speaker at the plenary meeting of the World Economic Forum (see Press Release SG/SM/6881).

That evening, at 7 p.m., the Secretary-General met with Yasser Arafat, President of the Palestinian Authority. Mr. Annan later attended a dinner hosted in his honour by the Forum for media leaders and editorialists.

The Secretary-General departed Davos for New York on Monday morning, 1 February.


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