New York, NY (BBN) – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will depart for Asia later this month on a four-country tour whose itinerary includes stops in the Philippines, India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

While in Manila, Mr. Ban will meet with President Gloria Arroyo, who will present him with the nation’s order of diplomatic merit. He will also receive an honorary doctorate from the University of the Philippines and address the Second Global Forum on Migration and Development, a UN press statement said.

The Secretary-General will then travel to India, where he is slated to hold talks with President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, among other senior officials, as well as give a lecture at the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and meet with Indian business leaders on climate change.

In neighboring Nepal, which abolished its 240-year-old monarchy in May, he will meet with President Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, other officials and members of the Constituent Assembly. He will also visit Lumbini, the Buddha’s birthplace.

The UN chief will then wrap up his Asian tour in Bangladesh, where he is expected to have meetings with President Iajuddin Ahmed and other top officials and to visit micro-finance, disaster reduction and climate adaptation sites.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-16October08-9:36 AM (BST)