Minister Lajčák: “We cannot even imagine United Nations operation without ideas and initiatives generated in Geneva”

Minister Lajčák: “We cannot even imagine United Nations operation without ideas and initiatives generated in Geneva”

25.7.2017 | Aktivity ministra | Slovensko a OSN

Geneva has a strategic status in implementation of the sustainable development goals since it is the centre where elements of the human rights agenda overlap and meet with the lines of disarmament, migration, refugee and development assistance, educational activities and other components of the important architecture of international engagement. This was the message today (25 July) by Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Miroslav Lajčák, in a meeting with officials from international organizations with headquarters in Geneva, to which the minister was invited in his capacity as the president-elect of the forthcoming United Nations Assembly, by Michael Møller, Director General of the United Nations Office (UNOG).


“The United Nations is not just New York. We cannot even imagine the UN operation without numerous ideas and initiatives generated right here in Geneva. For example with regard to migration, the theme for which one of the key tasks of the forthcoming UN General Assembly will be to prepare two global compacts, for migration and for refugees, we cannot do this without mutual collaboration. Just the same, for the sustainable development goals, it is Geneva where various UN agencies have been working very hard on this topic. The SDG Lab initiative for data sharing and experience exchange about practical implementation of sustainable development goals among key actors has to be especially highlighted,” noted Lajčák, who discussed priorities that he has set for the forthcoming Presidency of the 72nd UN GA with the invited officials from the international organizations.

The separate meeting with Director General Møller was dominated by issues of UN reform, disarmament and human rights protection. The partners acknowledged that the success of reforms primarily depends on the capability to build a functioning strategic partnership with member states. “We will have to jointly think about how to find better and more effective solutions, not just in New York but also in Geneva, where one of the tasks will be the necessary depoliticising and streamlining of the operations of several bodies, including the Human Rights Council,” noted Lajčák, who also discussed topics such as disarmament and sustainable development goals with the UNOG Director General.

The themes of international level multilateralism and collaboration dominated the meeting of Minister Lajčák with the Head of the EU Delegation to the UN, Peter Sørensen. The minister wanted to know the view of the EU representative on the contemporary UN agenda, the challenges associated with the preparation of the so-called compacts for migration and refugees, the status of accomplishment of the sustainable development goals and other themes.

Minister Lajčák used his working stay in Geneva also to hold a meeting with the newly-elected Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission, up until recently Slovakia’s Permanent Representative to OSCE in Vienna, Oľga Algayerová. The topic of their conversation was functioning of this commission and its parallel activities within the agendas of other international organizations. Algayerová is already the third Slovak citizen in this office; her predecessors included Brigita Schmögnerová and Ján Kubiš.