Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is slated to leave early next week for Africa where he will make his first official visits to South Africa and Tanzania, as well as stops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Egypt.
While in South Africa Ban will meet with President Kgalema Motlanthe, as well as the Ministers for Finance and Environment, his spokeswoman Marie Okabe told reporters.
He is also expected to meet with former President Nelson Mandela, the UN News Centre adds.
South African military officials expect him to ask for more troops and equipment to support a number of UN missions in Africa. They caution the SA National Defence Force is overstretched and cannot provide Ban much more.
In Tanzania, one of the pilot countries for the UN reform programme on “Delivering as One,” the Secretary-General will hold discussions with President Jakaya Kikwete, as well as address the diplomatic and academic community in Dar es Salaam.
In addition, Ban will inaugurate the One UN Office in Zanzibar which will house all UN agencies under a single roof. He is also due to fly over the receding ice cap of Mount Kilimanjaro on his way to Arusha to visit the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Following that, he will head to the DRC where he will meet with President Joseph Kabila, as well as with parliamentarians and members of civil society. He will then go to Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province, to visit Panzi Hospital, where victims of sexual violence are cared for.
Then in the North Kivu provincial capital of Goma, he will meet with members of the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUC) and with local authorities.
He will also visit the Mugunga camp for people displaced by conflict before flying to Rwanda to meet with President Paul Kagame.
Ban then plans to travel to the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he will participate in the 2 March “International Conference in support of the Palestinian Economy, for the reconstruction of Gaza,” co-chaired by Egypt and Norway.