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Activities of Secretary-General in France, 10-12 November

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived in Paris from New York on Saturday, 10 November. The Secretary-General was in Paris to participate in the events commemorating the 100th year of the signing of the armistice ending the First World War.

On Saturday afternoon, he met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. They discussed the situations in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Cyprus as well as United Nations-Turkey relations. In the evening, the Secretary-General visited the Musee d'Orsay with other world leaders invited to the commemoration and attended a dinner hosted by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.

On Sunday morning, the Secretary-General met with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. He then took part in the official ceremony to mark Armistice Day, which was held at the Arc de Triomphe. Following the ceremony, he attended the lunch, hosted by President Macron at the Palais de l'Elysee, for the Heads of State and Government present.

That afternoon, he spoke at the opening of the Paris Peace Forum alongside President Macron and Chancellor Merkel. In his remarks, the Secretary-General said that multilateralism was a necessity and that the United Nations remained at the centre of the harmonization of efforts to achieve peace and sustainable development. He added that Governments would not be able to meet their peoples' expectations for protection in the absence of international cooperation. (See Press Release SG/SM/19338.)

The Secretary-General then met with the Prime Minister of the State of Palestine, Rami Hamdallah, at the Paris Peace Forum. Later, he took part in a closed discussion on global governance with the heads of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

On Monday morning, the Secretary-General visited UNESCO headquarters in Paris for the first time. He met with Audrey Azoulay, its Director-General, and spoke to the staff. He also had a meeting with Laurent Fabius, President of the Constitutional Council.

Later that morning, the Secretary-General had a meeting with President Macron at the Palais de l'Elysee. They discussed Africa, and particularly the Central African Republic and the Sahel; the situations in Yemen and Syria; and the forthcoming Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) scheduled for December 2018 in Poland. He also attended a lunch hosted by President Macron.

In the afternoon, the Secretary-General opened the high-level session of the Internet Governance Forum with President Macron and UNESCO Director-General Azoulay. He told the Forum that technology should empower and not overpower us. The Secretary-General also encouraged the Forum to focus especially on innovative solutions that can increase trust in the Internet. (See Press Release SG/SM/19340.)

The Secretary-General left Paris for New York early on Monday evening.

Source: United Nation