Støre worried before the UN summit:
Crises will be on full display when world leaders gather this week for the United Nations summit in New York. – The context is bleak, says Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Ap).
– There is reason to be deeply concerned about some of the major crises currently occurring. One is of course linked to the war. A large-scale war of aggression is underway in Europe. But Europe should lead the way, moving away from war and towards political conflict resolution, Støre tells NTB.
This week, he is in New York to participate in the UN high-level week, with several summits on the program.
– The context is dark. Both with the war in Ukraine, growing tensions between China and the United States and Russia’s activities in the Global South.
Meeting with Guterres
Additionally, millions of people are on the run and the consequences of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent.
– New lessons are constantly being learned about climate change, almost week after week. More recently, with the floods in Libya. All these subjects will be on the agenda in New York, says the Prime Minister.
Among other things, Støre will meet UN Secretary General António Guterres on Thursday.
Ahead of the General Assembly, Guterres called on heads of state to address global challenges.
– People are turning to their leaders to find a way out of this disorder, he told the AFP news agency last week.
Ukraine meets at the Security Council
Regarding the war in Ukraine, tensions are linked to the Security Council’s public debate on the issue on Wednesday.
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It is likely that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are sitting in the same room.
Støre doesn’t expect much of them to talk together.
– Last year, at a Security Council meeting on Ukraine, Lavrov arrived three minutes before he was scheduled to deliver his speech and left the room after delivering it. There was therefore no reason for a direct meeting. We will see what the status will be this year, he said.
Ukraine’s peace plan
Støre himself hopes to have time to speak with Zelenskyj during the week.
A formal meeting with the Ukrainian president is not yet planned, but the Prime Minister says he will still meet his delegation.
During Støre’s visit to kyiv on August 24, Zelensky announced that the next meeting on the Ukrainian peace plan would take place in Oslo.
– There is nothing new about this. We will hear them when we meet them and see what happens, the Prime Minister said.
For Norway, it will also be important to strengthen dialogue with southern countries during the high-level week, Støre believes.
– Today we are witnessing developments with a coup d’état in Africa and increased tensions at the borders in many places. It’s a backdrop. This is what the world looks like, and we have to face it and try to do something about it, he said.
But something is also going in the right direction.
– We must not forget that what goes well often attracts less attention. We are reaching more people with healthcare and vaccines, and simplifications and technological advances are taking place, which means countries are developing faster than before, says Støre.
In addition to the Prime Minister, Norway is participating in the high-level week with Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt (Ap), Development Minister Anne Beathe Tvinnereim (Sp), Climate and Environment Minister Espen Barth Eide ( Ap) and the Minister of Health and Care. Ingvild Kjerkol (Ap).
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