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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Polish President to attend UNSC open debate in New York

President Andrzej Duda will travel to New York on Wednesday, where he will take part in the UN Security Council High-Level Open Debate on Thursday.


On Thursday, the President will also meet with UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres and the European Union member states' ambassadors to the UN.


Poland took up a non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council on January 1. The country will sit on the Council for two consecutive years. In addition to regular meetings of the Security Council, where the country is usually represented by the ambassador to the UN, each subsequent presidency of the Council organises a high-level open debate with heads of state and foreign ministers.


The debate will be the first opportunity for Poland's President to take the floor at the Security Council after the country took up its non-permanent membership.


"President Andrzej Duda will take part in the debate at the invitation of Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, as the country presides over the Security Council", the head of the President's Office Krzysztof Szczerski told PAP on Tuesday. He stressed that the debate will concern the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.


The President will present Poland's stance that every aggression as well as building of aggressive capacity always involves violation of international law," Krzysztof Szczerski added.


The head of the President's office pointed out that this will be the first in a series of visits to be paid by President Duda to the UN this year. "The President will also chair a high-level open debate during our presidency of the Security Council in May. He also plans a visit to a high-level debate that will take place at the UN General Assembly in September," the presidential minister said.


Apart from taking part in the debate, Andrzej Duda will meet with the Kazakh President on Thursday. Minister Szczerski noted it would be another meeting of Duda and Nazarbayev: the President of Kazakhstan visited Poland in August 2016 and the Polish President was in Astana in September 2017.


The UN General Assembly elected Poland as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, to replace Ukraine, in early June. Poland began its term on the council on January 1, 2018. The country is a UN SC non-permanent member for the sixth time. Its previous terms were in 1946-1947, 1960 (term shared with Turkey), 1970-1971 and 1982-1983. Poland served its fifth term as a fully-independent state in 1996-1997.


Poland will also assume the monthly presidency of the Council in May and again in the second half of 2019.


During its term, Poland will sit on the Council together with its five permanent members, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Other non-permanent members include three representatives of Africa (Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast), two Latin American states (Bolivia and Peru), two Asian and Arab members (Kazakhstan and Kuwait) and two Western European representatives (the Netherlands and Sweden).


The Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. (PAP)

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