UN Secretary General Guterres arrives on four-day visitHis itinerary includes visiting Lumbini, Annapurna Base Camp and Everest region besides engagements in Kathmandu.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrived in Kathmandu in the wee hours of Sunday on a four-day official visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
He was received and welcomed by Foreign Minister NP Saud and senior foreign ministry officials at the Tribhuvan International Airport. The Secretary-General was also accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Tribhuvan International Airport, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Secretary General Guterres is accompanied by Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean Pierre Lacroix, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations to Nepal Hanaa Singer-Hamdy and other officials from the UN Headquarters in New York and the United Nations country team in Nepal, according to the statement.
It’s his second visit to Nepal. Guterres, in the capacity of UN refugee chief, visited Nepal in 2007 and took stock of the situation of the Bhutanese refugees living in eastern Nepal.
His official engagements will begin at 1:30 pm as he will call on Foreign Minister Saud which will be followed by a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Purna Bahadur Khadka.
After a brief courtesy call on DPM Khadka, Guterres will meet Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Narayan Kaji Shrestha at 2 pm. Following the meeting, the UN Secretary General Guterres will meet Prime Minister Dahal at the Prime Minister’s Office.
As per the itinerary of his visit, both Dahal and Guterres will speak to the media following the meeting.
Both Dahal and Guterres will discuss several issues related to Nepal’s ongoing peace process, Nepal’s increasing role in United Nations peacekeeping operations, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and mitigating the effects of climate change among others, according to the officials.
After meeting the prime minister, Guterres will leave for the International Convention Centre, New Baneshwar where he will meet former prime minister and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Guterres, will then meet former prime minister and UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli.
As per the itinerary, he will reach the Office of the President and call on President Ramchandra Paudel at 4 pm and will leave for Patan Durbar Square for a heritage walk.
In the evening, the UN secretary general will attend a dinner reception hosted by Prime Minister Dahal at Hotel Soaltee.
On Monday early morning, Guterres will depart for the Everest region by a Nepal Army helicopter subject to the weather conditions. If the weather permits to fly, the UN chief will reach Hotel Everest View around the Everest region and then he will speak to residents about the impacts of climate change on their daily livelihood.
After completing his engagements in the Everest region, he will hold a meeting with the UN Country Team in Nepal on Monday afternoon before departing to Pokhara.
He will have no other function in Pokhara, according to the itinerary, the UN chief will have free time in Pokhara on Monday and will attend a dinner at the hotel where he will be staying.
On early Tuesday, he will fly to Annapurna Base Camp where he will speak to local residents on the impacts of climate change on their daily livelihood. After visiting the Annapurna Base Camp, he will return to Pokhara and is expected to speak to the media at the Pokhara airport before leaving for Bhairahawa.
As per the itinerary, Guterres will reach Lumbini on Tuesday morning where he will be welcomed by Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Sudan Kirati, Chief Minister of Lumbini Province Dilli Bahadur Chaudhary, Vice-Chairman of Lumbini Development Trust Lyarkal Lama and senior government officials.
In Lumbini, the UN secretary general will visit the sanctum of Maya Devi Temple, light butter lamps, fill the guestbook, and plant a sapling and the Lumbini Development Trust will make a brief presentation on the master plan for the development of Lumbini to Guterres.
After these engagements, Guterres is also planning to speak to the media and send a message of peace. Upon completion of his engagements in Lumbini, the UN chief will return to Kathmandu, and will take some rest before addressing the joint sitting of the Parliament at 4 on Tuesday.
After delivering a half-hour-long statement, Guterres is also planning to speak to the media.
On Wednesday morning he will depart from Kathmandu, as per the itinerary. Before departing from Kathmandu, the UN office may host a press conference. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Purna Bahadur Khadka will bid farewell to Guterres and his visiting team.