Presidents and UN secretary in Ghana to discuss Zimbabwe and Darfur

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon arrived in Accra on Saturday night on the first-leg of a four-nation West African tour, during which he will participate in the 12th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) meeting in the Ghanaian capital.

Ban, who was accompanied by his wife, will address the opening of the UNCTAD conference on Sunday afternoon and hold discussions with President John Agyekum Kufuor and Mr Akwasi Osei-Adjei, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He told journalists on arrival that the current food crisis that threatened the world had dire consequences, especially for the developing world.

Ban said the conference would take a serious look at the situation and how best to deal with it.

He said another issue that needed to be examined was the current trend of trade liberalisation and its impact on developing countries.

The UN chief said he hoped to have discussions with President Kufuor, immediate past Chairman of the African Union, on some of the trouble spots in Africa such as Darfur and Zimbabwe.

The Finnish, Brazilian and Sierra Leonean Presidents are already in Ghana for the Conference, which ends on Friday.

Ban is also expected to visit Liberia, Burkina Faso and Cote d’ Ivoire.

In the Liberian capital, Monrovia, he he will meet with the country’s leadership, the UN Mission in Liberia and the UN Country Team.

In Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, he will have a bilateral meeting with President Blaise Compaore, the facilitator of the Inter-Ivorian Dialogue and current Chairman of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

His final stop is Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, where meetings are planned with President Laurent Gbagbo, the Prime Minister, opposition leaders and civil society.

He will also meet with the leadership of the UN Operation in Cote d’Ivoire.

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