5 March 1996

Press Release


19960305 MEXICO CITY, 5 March -- At 9:55 a.m. on Monday, 4 March, Secretary- General Boutros Boutros-Ghali arrived at the Presidential Residence where he was greeted by the President of Mexico, Ernesto Zedillo. The Secretary- General and President Zedillo met without aides for 45 minutes.

At 11 a.m., the Secretary-General held a meeting with Foreign Minister José Angel Gurria Trevino who was accompanied by the Deputy Foreign Minister and head of International Organizations in the Foreign Ministry, Sergio Gonzalez Galvez. The Secretary-General was accompanied by Assistant Secretary-General Rosario Green, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General; Under-Secretary-General Gert Rosenthal, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC); and Assistant Secretary-General Fernando Zumbado, Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Latin American and the Caribbean, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Both delegations reviewed topics discussed earlier between the Secretary-General and President Zedillo. These included the ongoing peace process in Guatemala and the work by the United Nations human rights mission in that country; the recently authorized extension of the United Nations' mandate in Haiti; the subject of disarmament, including nuclear and chemical weapons and the need to obtain the ratification of pending conventions; the Mexican-proposed conference on drugs; the question of Security Council reform; the current financial crisis of the United Nations; the question of human rights; and the situation between the Bretton Woods institution and other international and regional organizations.

At 4:15 p.m., after a private lunch, the Secretary-General, accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Gonzalez Galvez, held a press conference between national and international correspondents at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At 5 p.m., the Secretary-General delivered a lecture at the Institute "Matias Romero" for Diplomatic Studies in the "Alfonso Garcia Robles" auditorium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' building, Tlatelolco. (See Press Release SG/SM/5906 of 4 March.) This was followed by a question-and- answer session which lasted for about 30 minutes. The lecture was presided by the Institute's President, Olga Pellicer, and by Foreign Minister Gurria.

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At 8 p.m., the Secretary-General and Mrs. Boutros-Ghali were the guests of honour at a reception and State dinner, hosted by the President and Mrs. Zedillo, at the Presidential Palace, Palacio Nacional. (See Press Release SG/SM/5910 of 4 March.)

The Secretary-General and Mrs. Boutros-Ghali arrived in Mexico City at 6 p.m. on Sunday, 3 March, at the start of an official visit to Mexico.

During the arrival ceremony, which included the review of a military honour guard, the Secretary-General was received by the Foreign Minister and Mrs. Gurria Trevino, as well as by other local authorities and personnel of the United Nations in Mexico, including the Resident Representative of the United Nations system in Mexico, Bruno Guandalini.

Before leaving the airport, the Secretary-General made the following statement to the press:

"I will like to express my gratitude to the Government and peoples of Mexico for their contributions towards the work of the United Nations and for their continuous support to the Organization. My trip to Mexico has another significance: two weeks after my election, my first visit as Secretary- General to Mexico City was to sign the Chapultepec Agreement on El Salvador. It happened on 16 January 1992. This was a great success story for the United Nations, because peace today prevails in El Salvador. This is another occasion for me to express my gratitude to the Government of Mexico, because not only did we receive support from its Government in the conclusion of this peace agreement -- through Mexico and the 'Friends of the Secretary-General' -- but Mexico also provided, for the first time, a group of police personnel who helped us greatly in El Salvador. It is to be recognized that the role of Mexico was instrumental in the peace process in El Salvador.

"We now have another ongoing peace process in Guatemala. Here again, Mexico is helping us very much. The negotiatioins are held in Mexican territory, and Mexico is following with us the progress being made with regards to Guatemala.

"So once again, the purpose of my trip is to say to the peoples of Mexico, to the Government of Mexico, 'Thank you for what you have done in favour of the United Nations'."

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For information media. Not an official record.