Press Release
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York

24 June 2003



Secretary-General Kofi Annan travelled to Jordan, through Paris, France, arriving in Amman late on Saturday, 21 June.

He met immediately with his principal representatives on Iraq and the Middle East –- Sergio Vieira de Mello, his Special Representative in Iraq; Terje Roed Larsen, his Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process; Mervat Tallawi, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA); and Peter Hansen, Commissioner-General of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). 

He then had a late night meeting with German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer.  Their talks focused primarily on Iraq, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

On Sunday morning he saw the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Abdullah Gul, for a review of the situation in Iraq and the prospects for a settlement on Cyprus.

He then met with L. Paul Bremer, the Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.  He was joined in that meeting by Mr. Vieira de Mello and Ghassan Salame, a political adviser to Mr. Vieira de Mello.  In a press encounter afterwards, Bremer said they had discussed “the many ways in which the United Nations and its specialized agencies can help us with the urgent task of reconstruction in Iraq and the efforts to create a political council which will be representative of the Iraqi people...”  The Secretary-General said that in New York the following week there would be a preparatory conference on reconstruction in Iraq and he hoped the donor community would be “generous”.

In the course of the morning, the Secretary-General conferred separately with Mr. Vieira de Mello and Mr. Larsen.

In the afternoon, he drove overland to the Dead Sea where the World Economic Forum was meeting.  There he joined the other members of the Quartet – United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and others representing the European Union and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov -- for an evaluation of the efforts to advance peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

After their discussions, they gave a press conference at which the Secretary-General read out a press statement on the behalf of the Quartet adding personal comments.  “In keeping with the approach laid out in the Road Map”, he said, “the principle of parallelism should be maintained.  We must address security, humanitarian and political issues at the same time.”  He called on the Israelis not to use disproportionate force in civilian areas nor to carry out house demolitions or engage in extrajudicial killings.  Simultaneously, he added, the Palestinian Authority must not spare any effort to bring to an end all acts of terror against Israelis anywhere.

He then had a string of bilateral meetings, all of which were dominated by the twin security issues of Iraq and the Middle East.  The first of these was a private exchange with Secretary Powell.  This was followed by meetings with Amre Moussa, Secretary General of the League of Arab States; Shimon Peres, Chairman of the Israeli Labour Party; Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher El Sayed; Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov; Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom; and the Director General of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei.

He then had an audience with His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin Al Hussein of Jordan before attending a dinner in aid of Iraqi children, co-chaired by former United States President Bill Clinton, founder of the STARS Foundation, which hosted the event, and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah.

The Secretary-General began his day on Monday with a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Brazil, Celso Luiz Nunes Amorim.  They discussed the situation in Colombia and international efforts to restore stability to that country.  The Minister raised the issue of United Nations reform and they also touched on the situation in the Middle East, with the Secretary-General briefing the Minister on the meeting of the Quartet the previous day.  Finally the Minister talked of Brazil’s interest in a greater role in promoting peace in Africa, and they discussed in particular current events in Guinea-Bissau.

At midday, the Secretary-General met with the Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Nabil Shaath, for a review of current efforts to advance the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

He then saw the former Foreign Minister of Iraq, Adnan Pachachi and current Chairman of the Executive Committee of Independent Iraqi Democrats.  They talked of the emerging United Nations role in Iraq, the security situation there, the political process leading to an Interim Iraqi Administration and the problems of managing the shutting down of the United Nations “oil-for-food” programme. 

In the afternoon he travelled to the Dead Sea to address the closing plenary of the World Economic Forum taking place there.

If the first half of this century is like the first half of the last one, it will be an even more violent, more intolerant, and more destructive time, he said.  “States and societies will close in on themselves, stamping out diversity, restricting human rights, and refusing to accept products or people, or ideas, that come from other cultures.”

But I see a different future, he stated, “one that we have the power to choose”.

“I see human beings caring for each other, and States sharing responsibility for the safety and welfare of all people”, he went on.

“I see markets that are truly free and fair.  The poor will be able to improve their lot by producing and selling, without facing trade barriers or unfairly subsidized competition.

“I see peoples working together to care for their common home, the Earth...”

“And I see decisions that affect the global interest being taken in global institutions, starting with the United Nations.  All members will respect each other’s views, and strive honestly to reach agreement...”

“Let our children look back on this time”, he concluded, “and say that there, by the shores of the Dead Sea, we entered a living land – a land of hope.”  (See Press Release SG/SM/8759-ECO/31 of 23 June.)

Before leaving Amman on Tuesday morning, 24 June, the Secretary-General met with the heads of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes working in Jordan and thanked them for their coordinated aid effort in Iraq.

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