( Xinhua ) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in the Ghanaian capital Accra Saturday night to begin a four-nation West African tour, which will also take him Liberia, Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire.
On Sunday, Ban will address the opening of the 12th UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), a quadrennial event. This year's conference is being held against the backdrop of rising global food prices.
"The UN Conference on Trade and Development could not have come at a more crucial time," Ban said upon arrival at Accra airport.
Soaring food prices have triggered unrest in some hard-hit countries, such as Haiti, Egypt and the Philippines. The recent riots in Haiti forced Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis to step down.
"This is a worrisome situation, as it poses a threat to the stability of many developing countries," the secretary general said, adding that concerted international action was urgently needed to tackle the issue.
Ban said he also intends to address a number of African political issues, either in the conference proper or during talks on the sidelines.
He is scheduled to meet with Ghanaian President John Kufuor and Foreign Minister Akwasi Osei-Adjei before leaving Accra Monday for the Liberian capital Monrovia, where he will meet with that country's leadership as well as members of the UN Mission and UN Country Team there.
On Tuesday, Ban Ki-Moon will head to Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, where he will meet with President Blaise Compaore, the facilitator of the Inter-Ivorian Dialogue and Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The secretary general will travel to Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, on Wednesday, and is scheduled to hold talks with President Laurent Gbagbo, Prime Minister Guillaume Soro, opposition leaders and members of civil society.
Ban will also meet with the leadership of the UN peacekeeping mission in Cote d'Ivoire.