United Nations Secretary‑General António Guterres left New York on Monday, 27 November to attend the fifth African Union‑European Union Summit in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. He arrived in Abidjan late on Tuesday, 28 November.
On Wednesday, the Secretary‑General held bilateral meetings with the following Heads of State: President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire; President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço of Angola; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; and President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé of Togo.
In the morning, he attended a trilateral meeting with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat; the President of the European Commission, Jean‑Claude Juncker; and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice‑President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini. They agreed to put in place a joint African Union‑European Union‑United Nations task force to save and protect the lives of migrants and refugees along the routes, and in particular inside Libya, accelerating the assisted voluntary returns to countries of origin and the resettlement of those in need of international protection.
Following a working luncheon hosted by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, the Secretary-General addressed the opening ceremony of the Summit. He said that there was a need to change the relationship with Africa and establish a new cooperation platform that recognizes the huge potential of the continent. (See Press Release SG/SM/18803.)
He then met with representatives of the United Nations country team.
The Secretary-General left Côte d’Ivoire on Wednesday night, 29 November, and arrived back in New York on Thursday afternoon, 30 November.