Credit: MAEE

From Sunday 18 to Wednesday 21 September 2022, Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, traveled to New York to participate in the ministerial week of the 77th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

Throughout his trip to New York, Minister Asselborn represented the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg at various high-level events.

On Sunday, Minister Asselborn took part in the traditional ministerial dinner on the Middle East, co-organised by the International Institute of Peace (IPI), the United Arab Emirates and Luxembourg. The exchange of views allowed Minister Asselborn to address the global food insecurity caused by the war of aggression waged by Russia, as well as the importance of not forgetting the conflicts in the Middle East region, for example in Syria and Yemen, as well as the peace process aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On Monday 19 September, Minister Asselborn participated in a high-level interactive discussion on the prevention of violence against children, organised by the Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the United Nations with the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence against Children, Najat Maalla M'jid. Knowing that one billion children are victims of violence each year, Minister Asselborn underlined that this violence is not only a violation of human rights, but also undermines our ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Preventing violence against children is a moral obligation as well as having economic benefits.

On Tuesday 20 September, at the invitation of the Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister Asselborn delivered a speech at a high-level event on the health of refugees and migrants. Minister Asselborn notably highlighted that “the right to health is a human right – for everyone, everywhere and regardless of immigration status”. He also pointed out that discriminatory policies, false narratives and lack of data limit migrants' access to health services.

On the same day, Minister Asselborn spoke at a high-level event, organised by Luxembourg with Niger and Geneva Call at the Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the UN, on the subject of international humanitarian law and the protection of children in armed conflict. In the presence of Virginia Gamba, the United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, the discussion provided an opportunity to discuss ways to ensure better humanitarian access in order to protect civilian populations, and children in particular, in times of conflict.

Finally, on Wednesday 21 September, at the invitation of the President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, Minister Asselborn took part in a round table meeting on "Ensuring the educational success of girls in Niger". Minister Asselborn hailed President Bazoum's resolute commitment to girls' education and insisted on the fact that girls' education and academic success are important levers in the fight against poverty. The minister took the opportunity to highlight the continued support provided by Luxembourg to Niger, a long-standing partner of Luxembourg's development cooperation.

Minister Asselborn also attended the opening of the general debate of the General Assembly by the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, and the intervention in the Assembly by the President of the United States, Joe Biden.

Minister Asselborn also took part in an informal meeting of European Union (EU) foreign ministers. He also took part in several bilateral meeting with ministers and senior officials of international organisations. These meetings made it possible to strengthen Luxembourg's relations with the countries and organisations concerned, as well as to exchange views on the latest international developments and areas of common interest. In this context, Minister Asselborn held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Morocco, Jamaica, Kosovo, Liechtenstein and Georgia. The Minister also met with Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), as well as with Miguel Moratinos, High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC).