UN chief tours Honduras to evaluate efforts to curb violence in world's deadliest nation

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday began a two-day fact-finding mission in Honduras on efforts to reduce violence in the world's deadliest country.

Honduran Communications Minister Hilda Hernandez said Ban will learn details of the Alliance for Prosperity Plan, which was launched in November by Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Known as the PAP for its initials in Spanish, the plan aims to stem migration to the U.S. and tackle unemployment, poverty and public insecurity in the three nations that make up Central America's "northern triangle."

"It is vital that the PAP is backed by the United Nations in financial, technical and political aspects," Hernandez said.

She said officials would lobby the secretary-general about opening a local office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, something Honduras asked for in 2013.

Ban was also scheduled to meet with congressional, judicial, social and human rights leaders. He is the third U.N. secretary-general to visit the country, after Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Kofi Annan.

Honduras has the highest homicide rate of any nation at 85.5 killings per 100,000 inhabitants, compared with a global average of 6.7.

Ban travels next to neighboring El Salvador, where he will attend the 23rd anniversary of peace accords that ended that nation's civil war.