Minister for Foreign Affairs Erkki Tuomioja will visit New York on 22–23 May. He will meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, with whom he will discuss, among other topics, the Middle East peace process and the situation in Syria as well as the promotion of mediation within the scope of the UN.
In addition, Foreign Minister Tuomioja will speak at the High-level Meeting on the role of UN member countries in mediation, arranged by the President of the UN General Assembly. The meeting participants include, among others, the Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Brazil and Qatar. In his speech, Foreign Minister Tuomioja emphasises the need to increase mutual coordination and cooperation between all actors in mediation. This is also the aim of the Friends of Mediation group led by Finland and Turkey, which includes 28 states and eight regional organisations.
The UN Conference on Sustainable Development to take place in Rio de Janeiro in June is the theme of debate at the General Assembly, which Foreign Minister Tuomioja will attend. In New York Tuomioja will meet with representatives of international non-governmental organisations, with whom he will discuss the progress of negotiations on the International Arms Trade Treaty.
In addition, while in New York Minister Tuomioja will meet with UN ambassadors from the member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and with UN ambassadors from Pacific small island states. One of the topics of the meetings is Finland’s candidacy for the UN Security Council for the period 2013–2014.