‘A United Europe has a crucial role to play’: Agenda 2030 and international peace and security issues rank high during Secretary-General’s three day visit to Germany

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 UN Secretary-General António Guterres, G20 Bonn

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has begun his three day visit to Germany. In Germany’s UN capital Bonn, Guterres will participate in a meeting of G20 foreign ministers who will discuss ways to fight poverty in Africa, strengthen governmental institutions and better utilize the potential of African countries. During the G20 meeting, the Secretary-General will also discuss the conflict in Syria, violence in eastern Ukraine and other global crises.

Ahead of the gathering in Bonn, Guterres pointed out in a joint interview with four European newspapers that a ‘united Europe has a crucial role to play at a time of global upheaval’.

The new US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will also participate in the meeting in Bonn, together with his counterparts from Russia, China and other G20 countries. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, and foreign ministers from the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain and Vietnam will also attend.

The meeting is a precursor to a G20 leaders' summit scheduled to take place in Hamburg in July, likely to be the first time US President Trump will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in person.

On Friday afternoon, Secretary-General Guterres will travel from Bonn to Munich where he will attend the Security Conference. More than 30 heads of state and government, along with more than 80 foreign and defence ministers, are set to participate in the Conference. Announced attendees include US Vice President Mike Pence, US Defense Secretary James Mattis, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

This year's Conference agenda focuses on the future of transatlantic relations and NATO after the election of Donald Trump, the state of European cooperation in security and defense matters, relations with Russia as well as the war in Syria, the security situation in the Asia-Pacific, and information warfare.

On Saturday, the Secretary-General will deliver a key-note speech and is also set to have several bilateral meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other heads of state and government.