Saturday, 23 January 2021

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President of General Assembly Visits Brussels


16.0.2016 – UN General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft is in Brussels on a two day visit.

Mr Lykketoft is due to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, EU Parliament President Martin Schulz, and several EU commissioners. He will also be received by Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of Belgium, who was recently nominated as an Advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs.)

In a press conference delivered at UNRIC headquarters in Brussels on 16 February, he spoke about the most pressing issues he faces such as the need to hold governments to account on the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and ensuring the early and strong implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda and the SDGs. 

Mr Lykketoft delivered insights into the selection of the new Secretary General, an ongoing process he described as exciting and revolutionary in its increased transparency and broader influence from UN membership and public opinion. 

United Nations General Assembly

Late last year President Lykketoft wrote a joint letter with the President of the Security Council to all UN Member States and opened the process of selection of the next UN chief, which has historically been decided de facto by the Security Council.

“There is a strong wish to establish a more open and democratic procedure,” he said. "If it’s a process with a large number of candidates and no-one is emanating as the candidate supported by a majority of members it may end up like it used to," Mr. Lykketoft added.

"But I think it will be very, very difficult- that’s my personal assessment, but- it will be very very difficult for the permanent five if there is a candidate supported by a majority of nations when we come to the summer to bring forward another candidate. So that’s what it is about. We’ll see what comes out of it, I don’t know, we are in uncharted waters here, it’s a kind of constitutional discussion in the UN we have opened with these new procedures."

He also alluded to gender and geography as potential influencing factors in replacing Ban Ki-moon after he completes his stewardship in December. The UN’s top position has never been filled by a woman nor a representative from Eastern Europe. 

Questioned on Europe’s handling of the refugee crisis, the President commented “It is obvious that Europe has been unprepared and not been able to make unified decisions.” However, he said that recent progress was demonstrated at the Syria Donor Conference in London and that there is an increased understanding that “in order to be able to handle the totality of refugees you have to support the neighboring countries.”


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