In his first visit to the Republic of Panama and the Panama Canal on Sunday, U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon accompanied by Panamanian President Martín Torrijos, emphasized his support for the historic Canal expansion and highlighted the importance of the transoceanic waterway in global trade.
“This Canal has made a great contribution to the world trade and movement of the international community,” the South Korean dignitary wrote in his message as he signed the guestbook at the Miraflores Locks Control House.
Ki-moon toured the Miraflores Locks, where Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta explained the operations of the waterway and described various aspects of the ACP’s plan to expand the Canal. Expansion will build a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a third set of locks, which will double capacity and allow the passage of wider and larger ships.
The U.N. Secretary-General also had the opportunity to try his hand at operating the system of opening and closing of the lock gates for the Holland vessel "Dockwise," which was in transit from Costa Rica to Florida.