Official visit by the Secretary General of the United Nations in Luxembourg
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has been on an official visit to Luxembourg on 16 and 17 April 2012. He was received by H.R.H. the Grand Duke and met with Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker and Deputy-Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn. In the afternoon of April 17th, the Secretary-General of the United Nations intervened at the rostrum of the Chamber of Deputies on the occasion of an extraordinary public session. He spoke furthermore at a conference at the University of Luxembourg on “Global Citizenship for a New Future”.
In the margins of the official luncheon hosted by the Prime Minister, in which the Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, the Minister of Defence, the Minister of Sustainable Development and Infrastructures and the Minister of Labour, Employment and Immigration also participated, the emergency.lu platform was presented to the Secretary-General. This mobile satellite communications platform, which is placed at the disposal of the humanitarian community, was developed by Luxembourg together with the WFP in its role as leader of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster, to ensure immediate access to satellite communications in affected areas following a disaster. The emergency.lu platform was deployed for the first time in January 2012 in South Sudan.
In his different interventions, the Secretary-General of the United Nations saluted the fact that Luxembourg was not only a Founder Member of the United Nations, but especially a member which has “taken that responsibility seriously and sincerely from day one.” The Secretary-General underlined the exceptional generosity of Luxembourg, which dedicates more than 1% of its GNI to official development assistance, “one of the highest levels of any country in the world;” “at a time when (…) many governments are cutting back sharply on budget items (…) Luxembourg is an example of global solidarity and enlightened common cause”.
Ban Ki-moon also saluted the commitment and support of Luxembourg to face the numerous challenges which confront the international community: “We benefit daily from Luxembourg’s ideas, commitment and engagement. In a word, we benefit from your vision. (…) Luxembourg is looking at global challenges in an integrated way – and that is what the world needs to do as well.”
The official visit to Luxembourg was concluded with a dinner hosted by T.R.H. the Grand Duke and the Grand Duchess in honour of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and his wife, Mrs Ban Soon-taek, at Château de Colmar-Berg.