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Governor-General to visit a number of countries

Mon, 27 Sep 2004

Governor-General visits Malaysia, Oman, Hungary, Czech Republic and New York

The Governor-General, Dame Silvia Cartwright, departs today on visits to Malaysia, Oman, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The Governor-General's visits will reinforce New Zealand's linkages with a long standing friend in South East Asia and a moderate, traditional Islamic state in the Middle East, and strengthen New Zealand's relationship with two important new members of the European Union.

In Malaysia, Dame Silvia will meet the King (the Yang di-Pertuan Agong), and the Deputy Prime Minister Najib bin Abdul Razak. The programme will also include a visit to the State of Perak, the Law Faculty of University Malaya and the Islamic Arts Museum. Dame Silvia will lay wreaths at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Taiping in Perak, and at the National Monument in Kuala Lumpur, and will be the Guest of Honour at a State Banquet.

From Malaysia, Dame Silvia will travel to Oman where she is due to meet the Head of State, Sultan Qaboos, and be hosted to a special dinner by the Deputy Prime Minister. The Governor-General will visit Qaboos University, meet Omani women leaders, and visit a number of significant historical and cultural sites, including the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

President Madl of Hungary will receive Dame Silvia during her visit to Budapest, and host a Gala Dinner in her honour. She will also have meetings with the new Prime Minister, meet the Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament, the Ministers of Equal Opportunity, and of Justice, and the Chief Justice. The Governor-General will also meet the Lord Mayor of Budapest, and visit various sites of cultural significance, including the UNESCO World Heritage village of Holl Dame Silvia's last destination is the Czech Republic. She will be received with full military honours by President Klaus who will host a State Dinner. Dame Silvia will meet Prime Minister Gross, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, and lunch with the President of the Senate. The Governor-General will be presented with the keys to the city of Prague by the Lord Mayor. Dame Silvia will also call on Geraldine Mucha, the granddaughter of leading Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha and whose mother was a New Zealander. Dame Silvia will also visit the historic town of Kutna.

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En route back to New Zealand the Governor-General, as a former member, will attend the 25th Anniversary special meeting of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. She will also meet with senior officials of the United Nations.

During the absence of the Governor-General, the Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias will act as Administrator of Government.


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