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Activities of Secretary-General in Ecuador, 15-19 October

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Quito, Ecuador, from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Saturday evening, 15 October.

On Sunday, 16 October, the Secretary-General, accompanied by his wife, Madam Ban Soon-taek, visited the historical centre of Quito, a World Heritage Site, walking from the Plaza Mayor to the San Francisco Church and Convent and the Companía de Jesús Church.

After a lunch hosted by Guillaume Long, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ecuador, the Secretary-General addressed the second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments, urging mayors, governors and councillors to take ownership of the New Urban Agenda and of the Sustainable Development Goals.  (See Press Release SG/SM/18213.)

He then met with volunteers helping in the organization of Habitat III, before meeting with Mauricio Rodas, Mayor of Quito, and attending an official dinner at the Palacio de Cristal.

The next day, Monday, 17 October, the Secretary-General had a working breakfast with the United Nations country team in Ecuador, before opening the Habitat III Conference.  In his remarks, he said the event marked the culmination of an intense period during which the international community had defined a universal vision for sustainable development.  He said that the New Urban Agenda to be adopted in Quito was an action-oriented document whose success would depend on the collaboration of all countries and all stakeholders.  (See Press Release SG/SM/18215.)

The Secretary-General then participated in an event with urban stakeholders and representatives of foundations, before a bilateral meeting with Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador.

In a joint press conference following their meeting, the Secretary-General told reporters that they had positive and productive meeting in which they discussed Ecuador’s reconstruction following the recent earthquake, as well as Ecuador’s contribution to the United Nations.

In a separate meeting on the margins of Habitat III, following visits to the One UN and the Ecuador Pavilions, the Secretary-General also discussed the peace process in Colombia and the situation in Haiti with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

In the evening, he attended an official dinner hosted by President Rafael Correa, at the Convento de la Merced.

The next day, the Secretary-General flew from Quito to the Galapagos Islands to observe measures implemented by the Government of Ecuador to ensure the environmental protection and sustainable development of the site, the first to be added to the World Heritage List in 1978.

In Galapagos, he adopted a baby tortoise which he named Encantada.  In the guest book of the Galapagos National Park, the Secretary-General stressed that the Galapagos are truly a unique world heritage for current and future generations and that it was our responsibility to preserve it.

On Wednesday, 19 October, the Secretary-General flew back from Ecuador to New York, where he arrived at night.

For information media. Not an official record.