UN chief to get firsthand look at damage caused by Japanese quake

2 August 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will depart on Saturday for a trip that will take him to Japan, where he will visit Fukushima to see first-hand the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami that struck earlier this year, and to the Republic of Korea. The massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan on 11 March killed dozens of people and destroyed towns, villages and large swathes of infrastructure. The disaster also caused major damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. Mr. Ban will visit an evacuation centre and speak with students at a high school in Fukushima City, according to his spokesperson. In Tokyo, he will meet with Prime Minister Naoto Kan and Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto. During the visit to his native Republic of Korea, the Secretary-General will launch the Global Model UN Conference in Incheon, as well as address the opening of the Academic Impact forum in the capital, Seoul. This year’s Global Model UN Conference, held from 10 to 14 August, will bring together 600 student delegates – drawn from 53 UN Member States – for debates around the theme of “Sustainable Development: Advancing Human Progress in Harmony with Nature.” While in Seoul, Mr. Ban will meet with President Lee Myung-bak and Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, among other officials. He will also hold discussions with the speaker of the National Assembly, and the National Assembly’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Working Group, as well as with members of the Global Compact Korea network. read more