Posted by: APO | 21 April 2008

Liberia / UN Secretary-General receives keys to Monrovia on arrival in Liberia

Press Release, 21 April 08                                   UNMIL/PIO/PR/ 30


UN Secretary-General receives keys to Monrovia on arrival in Liberia


Monrovia, Liberia – The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, has been welcomed to Liberia by Vice-President Joseph N. Boakai at the Roberts International Airport, where he inspected a guard of honour mounted by military personnel from the UN Mission in Liberia, (UNMIL) and the Armed Forces of Liberia, (AFL).


On driving into the capital, Mr. Ban went first to the City Hall, where he was presented with the keys to the city of Monrovia by Mayoress Ophelia Hoff-Saytumah.


The Secretary-General thanked the people of Liberia and highlighted the historic importance of the city. “This city, founded more than one hundred and fifty years ago as a symbol of liberty, expresses one of the most cherished values of the UN.”


Later, in an interview with UNMIL Radio, the Secretary-General said, “I am here in Liberia to support the country as a mark of my admiration and respect for the people of this country.”


In answer to a question regarding the current worldwide rise in food prices, Mr. Ban said, “I am establishing a task force of eminent persons and experts to see how to tackle this particular issue urgently”.


The Secretary-General, accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, and a delegation of senior UN officials, arrived in Monrovia on Monday evening from Accra, Ghana, where he had addressed the Twelfth UN Conference on Trade and Development.


During his visit to Liberia, Secretary-General Ban will address a joint session of the Legislature and also hold discussions with Vice-President Boakai and members of the Liberian Cabinet. He will also meet with UN staff and personnel serving in Liberia.


The welcoming party at the Roberts International Airport included the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Ms. Ellen Margrethe Løj, senior Government officials, senior members of the UN in Liberia, as well as traditional chiefs and leaders.


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