UN chief to visit India, Nepal

October 16th, 2008 - 6:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha PatilKathmandu, Oct 16 (IANS) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will kick off a four-country tour in Asia at the end of this month that includes the Philippines, India, Nepal and Bangladesh, a senior UN envoy said here Thursday.Ban will arrive in Manila to address the second Global Forum on Migration and Development to be held from Oct 27-30, his special representative in Nepal Ian Martin said.

He will meet Philippines President Gloria Arroyo to receive the nation’s order of diplomatic merit and also receive an honorary doctorate from the University of the Philippines.

The UN chief will then proceed to India.

In India, he is scheduled to hold talks with President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, other senior officials, as well as give a lecture at the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and meet with Indian business leaders over the issue of climate change.

Nepal, the third leg of the tour, was added after Nepal’s former foreign minister Sahana Pradhan issued an invitation to the world body chief in Geneva which was reiterated by Nepal’s new Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, who met Ban in New York last month.

Martin said Ban will meet Prachanda, President Ram Baran Yadav and members of the newly elected Constituent Assembly.

Ban, a Buddhist, will also visit Lumbini city in southern Nepal, the birthplace of the Buddha.

The Asian tour will end with a visit to Bangladesh, where Ban is expected to have meetings with President Iajuddin Ahmed and other top officials and visit micro-finance, disaster reduction and climate adaptation sites.

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