NEW YORK —
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon is likely to travel to Japan in May for talks on issues of global concern to be held as part of a Group of Seven summit, U.N. officials said.
Ban plans to seize on the visit to confer with G-7 leaders on climate change and other issues associated with the environment and energy, among other topics, the officials told Kyodo News.
This year’s summit of the G-7 states—Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, host Japan and the United States—is due to take place in the central Japan prefecture of Mie on May 26-27.
During his stay in Japan, the U.N. chief could arrange meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other top government leaders, the officials said.
Ban is expected to relay his gratitude to Japan for its contribution to the United Nations since its accession to the world body in 1956 and compare notes on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
The Japanese side is believed to be seeking Ban’s help in pushing for U.N. reforms, particularly expansion of the powerful Security Council that Tokyo wants to join as a permanent member. The current permanent members are Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
If realized, Ban’s trip to Japan will be his first since last March, when he participated in a U.N. conference on disaster risk reduction in Sendai in the northeast.
Ban, whose second five-year term as U.N. secretary general ends this year, has at times attended talks related to annual major countries’ summits, including a session of the summit in Hokkaido, northern Japan, in 2008.
On climate change, Ban is likely to request G-7 nations to take a leadership role in steadily carrying out the Paris Agreement adopted at U.N. climate talks last December, the officials said.
The accord sets out a long-term global goal of reaching a peaking of heat-trapping gas emissions as soon as possible, and effectively reducing them to zero in the second half of this century.
Ban is also looking to call for actions from G-7 states to resolve the civil war in Syria, the refugee crisis in Europe and the ongoing unrest in Ukraine to help improve the deteriorating humanitarian situation, they said.
He is also likely to urge steady implementation of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals adopted last September, they added. The set of 17 goals is intended to lift millions more people out of poverty and enrich their lives through 2030.