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Ban Ki-moon. Kerry to promote sustainable development at Gujarat summit
Wednesday January 7, 2015 12:41 PM, Arul Louis, IANS

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry will promote sustainable development at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit next week, their spokespersons said at separate press briefings Tuesday.

For Ban, who will be on his fourth visit as Secretary-General to India, it will be a homecoming of sorts: He launched his international career as a newly-minted diplomat in 1972 at the South Korean embassy in New Delhi. His son, Woo-hyun, was born in India. Ban is also the father-in-law of an Indian, Siddharth Chatterjee, who is married to his daughter, Hyun Hee Ban.

Ban who is to deliver a keynote speech at the inaugural session of the summit "will stress the need to promote inclusive and sustainable development in India and globally" to an audience of "world leaders,
policy makers, and representatives from the business community and academia," his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, told reporters here.

In Washington, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said Kerry will "highlight the critical role that US technology plays in supporting sustainable economic growth across India and the Indo-Pacific region, as well as strengthening trade and investment between the two countries."

She added, "This is the first time the United States will join the event as a partner country."

Dujarric said that Ban, who is slated to also visit New Delhi, is scheduled to meet President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi.

Ban's Gujarat itinerary includes a visit Mahatma Gandhi's Sabarmati Ashram and to a solar power plant to see for himself national efforts to promote sustainable development.

Psaki said at her Washington press briefing that Kerry may visit other countries during the trip. Asked by a reporter if it would include Pakistan, she said his other stops were yet to be determined.

(Arul Louis can be reached at



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