New York, NY (BBN)- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived on Tuesday in the Philippines, the first stop on a four-nation Asia tour that will also take the United Nations chief to India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Upon their arrival in Manila, Mr. and Mrs. Ban were greeted by a guard of honor and a military band, and welcomed by Foreign Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, other senior government officials and heads of UN offices based in the Philippines, according to a UN press statement.

The UN chief will address the opening session of the second Global Forum on Migration and Development on Wednesday. He will also meet with President Gloria Arroyo and other senior officials, and receive the Order of Sikatuna, the highest honor given to a non-Philippine national that is usually reserved for current or former heads of States or governments.

While in the South-East Asian nation, he will also receive an honorary doctorate from the University of the Philippines.

Mr. Ban is the first Secretary-General to visit the Philippines in nearly three decades. Kurt Waldheim visited in 1979 when he was the head of the world body, the statement said.

BBN/SI/SSF/AD-29October08 (BST)