25 April 1996

Press Release


19960425 MIDRAND, South Africa, 25 April -- Secretary-General Boutros Boutros- Ghali arrived today at 3 p.m. at Johannesburg International Airport on his second official visit to South Africa.

On Saturday, 27 April, he will open the ninth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD IX).

The Secretary-General was met at the airport by: the Minister for Foreign Affairs of South Africa, Alfred Nzo; the UNCTAD Secretary-General, Rubens Ricupero; the United Nations Resident Coordinator, David Whaley; and other heads of United Nations offices in South Africa.

On his arrival in Johannesburg, the Secretary-General said he was grateful to South Africa for its increasingly important role in world and African affairs. He thanked the Government and people of South Africa for hosting UNCTAD IX, one of the largest United Nations encounters to be held on the African continent.

He said the ninth UNCTAD would play a key role in promoting growth and economic development in a globalizing and liberalizing world economy and in defining new strategies towards this end for years to come. He stated that the world meeting would, in particular, look at ways for integrating 2 billion people presently excluded from the global economy who were living in poverty and despair. The Secretary-General expressed hope that the international community at UNCTAD IX would demonstrate the political will to improve people's lives, particularly in the least developed countries. Quoting South African President Mandela -- "we dare to think that what we are about is people" -- the Secretary-General paid tribute to South Africa for giving the world an example of politically, socially and morally sustainable statehood.

On 26 April, the Secretary-General will go to Pretoria to meet with President Mandela. The Secretary-General will also meet with Second Executive Deputy President F.W. de Klerk. He also will address the staff of the United Nations system in South Africa.

- 2 - Press Release SG/T/2045 25 April 1996

On 27 April, South Africans commemorate their National Freedom Day. The Secretary-General will attend the celebration in Pretoria in the morning, in the presence of the President of South Africa, as well as a number of heads of State and the King of Jordan. The heads of State in attendance are to include José María Figueres, President of Costa Rica; Jean-Pascal Delamuraz, President of the Swiss Confederation; and Benjamin Mkapa, President of the United Republic of Tanzania.

In the afternoon of 27 April, the Secretary-General will take part in the inaugural ceremony of UNCTAD IX. The keynote addresses will be delivered by President Mandela and the Secretary-General. The Secretary-General will attend a round table of heads of State and will chair a round table of heads of agencies. The two events are organized by UNCTAD to address the problem of the marginalization of 2 billion people from the global economy.

On Sunday, 28 April, the Secretary-General leaves for Nairobi, Kenya, where he will chair a meeting of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC). The Committee is a high-level United Nations steering group concerned with economic and social development initiatives.

The first visit paid by Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to South Africa was in May 1994, for the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa.

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For information media. Not an official record.