Ban praises Burkina Faso efforts to achieve the anti-poverty goalsListen /
The Secretary-General is on his way to Chad, the fourth stop of his historic tour to the Sahel region of Africa, after a short visit to Burkina Faso, where he held discussions with Government Officials.
Mr. Ban is leading a power team of development leaders, including the President of the World Bank, representatives of the African Development Bank, the African Union Commission and the European Union Commissioner for Development.
Their mission is to increase efforts to achieve the global anti-poverty or MDGs and to find a holistic approach to solving the challenges facing countries of the Sahel.
United Nations' André-Michel Essoungou spoke from Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.
Three days after its beginning, Ban Ki-moon's visit to the Sahel has maintained its unique character. Earlier today in Burkina Faso, Foreign Minister Djibril Bassolé noted with a sense of pride that this trip is indeed "exceptional".
Speaking to the country's Government, the Secretary-General pointed to progress made by the country in its effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
Much like Mali and Niger, he called for regional action to meet the challenges facing the Sahel. We are here in solidarity with you. We are here to act, he said.
Burkina Faso, a country of 16 million, is affected by food insecurity and political instability. Over 1.8 million people are at risk of going hungry this year. Some 50,000 Malians have become refugees here over the past two years. But the country's cereal production increased in 2012.
During his visit, Ban Ki-moon commended Burkina Faso for its role as mediator in the region's conflict. But he also insisted that all must be done, not only to address the symptoms but also the root causes of the problem facing the Sahel.
André Michel Essoungou, travelling with the Secretary-General.