Photo: NorwayUN/Marte Fløan Beisvåg.Photo: NorwayUN/Marte Fløan Beisvåg

Foreign Minister Brende’s first visit to the United Nations

Last updated: 11/15/2013 // This week Norway’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende visited New York and the United Nations for the first time. He met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other senior UN officials. In his exchange with Ban, the critical situation in the Philippines and the crisis in Syria were key topics.

Foreign Minister Brende and Secretary-General Ban also talked about the Middle East Peace Process, the prospects of agreement with Iran in the 5 + 1 format, the challenge of climate change and new development goals. The Secretary-General commended the Foreign Minister for Norway’s significant role in assisting with the reform efforts in Myanmar. He also touched upon Norway’s contribution to his Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

In the meeting, Foreign Minister Brende announced Norway’s additional contribution of 3, 2 million USD in humanitarian aid to the Philippines. This brings Norway’s total contribution to the hard-pressed country to 10,5 million USD.

 – The work that the UN, the Philippine government and the many volunteers are doing is crucial. They provide food, water and medication to the people that are stricken by the typhoon. We will consider additional contributions when we know more about the situation, the Foreign Minister said.

During his short stay in New York, Brende also met with Under-Secretary-General of Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman and had a working lunch with Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson. Brende and Feltman discussed the peace process between Israel and Palestine, and especially the donor group for Palestine,  the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC, which Norway chairs. At the end of the meeting Feltman and Brende shared their views on Syria, stressing the need of finding a political solution to the conflict.

During his visit, Foreign Minister Brende also met with the staff of the Mission of Norway to the United Nations and of the Norwegian Consulate General.

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