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United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres left New York on Friday, 27 January, to participate in the African Union Summit in Ethiopia. He arrived in Addis Ababa late on Saturday, 28 January.
On Sunday, following an early meeting with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, the Secretary-General participated in a working breakfast on “Harnessing Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth” hosted by Idriss Déby Itno, President of Chad and Chairperson of the African Union.
The Secretary-General also attended a meeting on South Sudan, along with representatives of the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD). (See Press Release SG/2237) Ahead of that meeting, Mr. Guterres met with Festus Mogae, the Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission for South Sudan.
In the afternoon, he proceeded to the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa to meet with United Nations staff working in Ethiopia, including representatives of the Staff Union and the United Nations country team.
In the early evening, the Secretary-General said at a high-level event on the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia that supporting the country in its efforts to cope with a new drought was a matter of justice as Ethiopia has been constantly building its resilience to natural disasters and climate change. (See Press Release SG/SM/18420)
The next day, Monday, 30 January, in his statement at the opening ceremony of the twenty-eighth Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, the Secretary-General said he joined the Summit in profound solidarity and respect, adding that he wanted to work with African countries in better preventing crises. (See Press Release SG/SM/18421)
The Secretary-General then gave a press conference at the African Union Headquarters during which he said that development must be at the centre of United Nations-African Union cooperation, as the best prevention of conflicts is sustainable and inclusive development.
Over the course of the two days, the Secretary-General held a series of bilateral meetings with the following Heads of State: President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of Burkina Faso; President Idriss Deby Itno of Chad; President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of Congo; President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea; President Alpha Condé of Guinea; President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya; President Mahmoud Abbas of the State of Palestine; President Macky Sall of Senegal; President Salva Kiir of South Sudan; President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda; and President John Pombe Joseph Magufuli of the United Republic of Tanzania.
He also met with Manuel Vicente, Vice-President of Angola; Gaston Sindomwo, First Vice-President of Burundi; Abdelmalek Sellal, Prime Minister of Algeria; Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia; Modibo Keita, Prime Minister of Mali; Léonard She Okitundu, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Integration of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Faiez Mustafa Serraj, President of the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord of Libya.
Before leaving Ethiopia on the night of Monday, 30 January, the Secretary-General attended a dinner hosted by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister. He arrived back in New York on Tuesday afternoon, 31 January.