UN chief Ban Ki-moon arrives in India

New Delhi, April 26: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by his wife Ban Soon-taek, and senior advisers, arrived in India Thursday on a three-day official visit during which he is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss India’s role in the global body, including its reforms.

Ban Ki-moon and his delegation was greeted on arrival here by Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Hardeep Puri, UN Resident Coordinator Patrice Coeur-Bizot and Director of the UN Information Centre Kiran Mehra-Kerpelman.

During his stay in India till April 29, the UN secretary-general is scheduled to meet External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.

He is also being conferred an honorary doctorate by the Jamia Millia Islamia Friday.

In Mumbai on Saturday, he will meet Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, apart from visiting some UN development projects in Mumbai and participate in a Millennium Development Goals related event being arranged there.

“Ban Ki-moon’s visit to India comes in the context of India’s strong commitment to multilateralism and its wide-ranging contribution to efforts of the UN, including its specialized programmes and agencies. It is expected that UNSG’s visit will provide an opportunity for us to share India’s perspectives on major regional and global issues,” according to the Indian ministry of external affairs.

India is currently a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, but has been pushing for reforms of the global body to include more nations in the high table as permanent members, including itself, apart from the existing five nations.

India has joined hands with Brazil, Germany and Japan to jointly bid for a permanent seat in the reformed UNSC.

IANS