Activities of Secretary-General in Chile and Antarctica, 21–26 November

The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, arrived in Santiago, Chile, from New York, on the morning of Tuesday, 21 November.  That afternoon, he visited the offices of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) for a series of meetings.

First, he met with the Executive Secretary of ECLAC, José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs.  This was followed by a town hall meeting with the UN staff in Chile and a hybrid meeting with the UN country team.  After the meetings, the Secretary-General took a group photo with staff.  For the photo, everyone wore a piece of orange clothing to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

That evening, the Secretary-General had a bilateral meeting with the Chilean Foreign Minister, Alberto van Klaveren, at the Palacio de La Moneda.  This was followed by a dinner hosted by the Foreign Minister.

On Wednesday, the Secretary-General went to the ECLAC offices to take part in the G20 virtual summit.  The Secretary-General delivered remarks to the closed meeting and listened to the interventions from other world leaders.

In the afternoon, he was supposed to fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas. However, the flight was delayed, and he did not arrive to Punta Arenas until late that night.

The next day, the Chilean Air Force facilitated a flight for the Secretary-General and Chilean President Gabriel Boric Font as well as their respective delegations, which took them from Punta Arenas to the Eduardo Frei Base in Antarctica.  They then took small zodiac boats to board the navy ship Aquiles 41, where they embarked on a seven-hour journey further into the Antarctic continent to the Bernardo O'Higgins Antarctic base.

During the transit to the O’Higgins base, the Secretary-General was able to observe the Collins and Nelson Glaciers.  He filmed a video message while aboard the ship, as well as a short video for social media.  He was also briefed by the Chilean Minister of Environment and members of the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH) on the impacts of climate change on the continent.

While on the ship, the Secretary-General also had lunch with President Boric and he was interviewed by the Associated Press.

That night, he arrived at the O’Higgins base, which is on an island surrounded by penguins.  He surveyed the area and had dinner with Mr. Boric and their delegations.  They also recorded a very brief message for Chilean public TV which aired that night.

On Friday, 24 November, the Secretary-General visited the German base, which is adjacent to the O’Higgins base, where he heard from scientists on the work they are doing at the base.  This includes ensuring the operation of a satellite dish which does 3D scans of the Earth, among other tasks.  The data collected is then shared with scientists from various bases.

That morning, the Secretary-General also gave an interview to Chilean Public TV for a special programme about Antarctica.

At noon, the delegation returned to board the Aquiles 41 navy ship and started the seven-hour journey back to the Eduardo Frei Base.  On the way back, the Secretary-General received a tour of the ship and he also had lunch with Mr. Boric and all delegations and ship staff.

Before settling back into the Frei Base, the Chilean Air Force facilitated transport by helicopter from the Aquiles 41 to the scientific base Profesor Julio Escudero, which is 1 kilometre away from the Frei Base.  The Secretary-General and Mr. Boric then had a joint press encounter outside the base where they each gave their impressions of the trip.  They also launched together a balloon which does meteorological measurements.

The next day, both delegations returned to Punta Arenas.  Upon his arrival, the Secretary-General was given a tour of a military plane which is used for meteorological purposes such as measuring the depth of ice on the continent.  This helps ships with their navigation.

The Secretary-General spent Saturday in Punta Arenas where he got some rest and made internal phone calls.  He left for Santiago and then New York that evening.

For information media. Not an official record.