UN high-level week is barometer for international relations

World leaders are meeting again in the high-level week of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York. The week is an opportunity for Finland to reinforce partnerships, to emphasise the significance of the UN and multilateral cooperation in addressing global problems and to highlight themes that are important for Finland’s foreign and security policy.

The General Assembly is the only of the six main organs of the United Nations where all 193 Member States have equal representation, and each has one vote. The General Assembly agenda covers the three pillars of the UN: sustainable development, peace and security, and human rights.

The United Nations and the multilateral system are being challenged from many quarters. The start of the 77th session of the General Assembly is marred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its global effects. The session is a chance to demonstrate the importance of multilateral cooperation in solving global problems.

The UNGA 77 high-level week begins on Monday 19 September. After years of the pandemic, world leaders are once again meeting in person in New York. They will be discussing the global effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, especially the global food crisis, and other global challenges, such as climate change.

Events during the high-level week include the Transforming Education Summit(layout.types.url.description), the SDG Moment(layout.types.url.description) in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Informal Leaders Roundtable on Climate action(layout.types.url.description) hosted by the UN Secretary-General, and a high-level meeting on the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities(layout.types.url.description).

High-level week is an opportunity for Finland to strengthen multilateral cooperation and international partnerships

Finland’s activities in the UN are based on defending the rules-based international system and on strengthening multilateral cooperation. The high-level week of the UN General Assembly is a valuable opportunity for Finland to emphasise the significance of the UN and multilateral cooperation in addressing global problems and to reinforce cooperation between states and the civil society.

In UNGA 77, Finland will lay special emphasis on matters reflecting the value base of Finnish foreign and security policy: the promotion of human rights, the rule of law, democracy, peace, freedom, tolerance and equality in all international activities.

The Finnish delegation during the high-level week is led by President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend ministerial events in New York and have bilateral meetings with his counterparts and with representatives of the UN. In addition, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will represent Finland at several high-level events and bilateral meetings during the week.

During the week, the ministers will be meeting their counterparts and leaders of UN agencies. The ministers’ programmes will focus on the global effects of the Russian invasion, mediation and regional crises, promotion of human rights and gender equality, and adaptation to climate change. The meetings of Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Skinnari will focus on strengthening the Ukrainian education sector and the role of companies in sustainable development. In addition, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will meet the EU foreign ministers during the week.

Follow the high-level week

President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö will deliver Finland’s statement at the General Assembly on Tuesday 20 September after about 19.00 Finnish time.

Several public addresses, delivered during the week, will be webcast live on the UN Web TV Channel(layout.types.url.description).

Follow news from the General Assembly on the Twitter accounts of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Finland’s Permanent Representation to the UN and using hashtags #UNGA77 and #UNGA; use the hashtag #FIUNGA77 to follow Finnish news from the General Assembly.