UN Chief heads to West Africa after Eastern Europe visit

UN Chief Antonio Guterres is now headed to West Africa after his weeklong efforts in Eastern Europe.

The Secretary General’s office has announced that he will begin a Ramadan solidarity visit with stops in Nigeria, Niger and Senegal during which he will also highlight the impacts of the Ukraine war on the African continent.

Spokesperson Faran Haq says the Secretary-General will meet and share an Iftar dinner with President Macky Sall of Senegal, who also assumed the Presidency of the African Union earlier this year.

Haq says the UN Chief will also take part in Eid celebrations with President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger and is scheduled to meet President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria.

In the three countries, the Secretary-General will have meetings with senior government officials as well as civil society representatives, including women, youth groups and religious leaders.

He will meet families deeply affected by violence and instability in the Sahel, including people internally displaced and refugees.

Guterres will also see first-hand the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities and will assess progress and challenges to the COVID-19 recovery.

The Secretary-General began annual Ramadan solidarity visits when he was High Commissioner for Refugees, but the tradition was interrupted by the pandemic.

This year, he will also use the visit to express his solidarity with victims of terrorism in the region.

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