Sources yesterday said Ban Ki-Moon wants to hold a news conference on Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port-of-Spain, while the 34 summit leaders are engaged in plenary sessions.
Ban Ki-Moon will also hold talks with Prime Minister Patrick Manning and President George Maxwell Richards on Saturday.
Security sources said Ban Ki-Moon’s private jet will arrive at Piarco International Airport on Friday night from Haiti where he is now attending an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) conference with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Ban Ki-Moon will be met by “high profile” American soldiers who have been posted at Piarco to await his arrival. As he leaves the airport under protection of the Americans, they will be joined by SAUTT and Special Branch officers who will escort them to the Hyatt where the summit will be formally opened tomorrow at 5 pm.
Ban Ki-Moon is expected to travel from the airport to the Priority Bus Route into Port-of-Spain on to Wrightson Road and then arrive at the Hyatt where he will be staying. Special closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras which have been installed from the airport to the Hyatt will carefully monitor Ban Ki-Moon’s arrival to ensure his safety. A special command centre has been set up in Chaguaramas where security personnel will monitor the CCTV cameras during the days of the summit.
Newsday understands that most of these cameras have been installed along the bus route in the vicinity of Beetham Estate because Beetham and the surrounding areas of Laventille and Sea Lots are considered high risk crime areas.
Local police officers and soldiers will also be stationed at strategic locations along the bus route to provide additional security for Ban Ki-Moon. While there have been no threats against the UN Secretary-General, officers said they are taking no chances with security arrangements for any of the summit leaders or other high profile dignitaries who will start arriving in Trinidad from today.
Newsday exclusively reported yesterday that Ban Ki-Moon will attend the summit on the personal invitation of Manning. The Prime Minister invited him earlier this year. Ban Ki-Moon’s presence signifies the first time that a sitting UN Secretary-General will attend a Summit of the Americas and pay an official visit to this country.