President Niinistö at the UN General Assembly: “There is still time to act”

President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö is visiting the United States on 19–25 September 2022. In New York, President Niinistö leads the Finnish delegation during the high-level week of the 77th United Nations General Assembly. During his trip, President Niinistö will also visit Washington D.C.

On Tuesday 20 September, President Niinistö delivered Finland’s National Statement at the Opening of the General Debate of the UN General Assembly. In his speech, the President said that Russia’s offensive war is in blatant violation of the UN Charter, and that the ripple effects of the war are already far-reaching and severe. The international community has a common obligation to uphold the international rules-based order. President Niinistö said that more than ever we need a renewed commitment on multilateralism, with the United Nations at its core:

“We must not become indifferent or apathetic in the face of these multiple crises. We must not get used to violations of international law and human rights. Not close our eyes to the growing needs of the vulnerable. Not sleepwalk into a climate and biodiversity catastrophe. Nor should we lose sight of hope: There is still time to act.”

On Tuesday, President Niinistö held bilateral meetings with, among others, UN Secretary General António Guterres, Hungarian President Katalin Novák and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

In addition, the President delivered a video speech at a high-level side event in preparation for the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP-15).

On Monday 19 September, President Niinistö delivered Finland’s statement at the UN Transforming Education Summit. “Education is an investment. It is an investment in equality and peaceful, democratic and resilient societies,” the President said in his video speech.

On Wednesday 21 September, President Niinistö attended a meeting of the Friends of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The President’s programme also included bilateral meetings with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Moldovan President Maia Sandu, among others.

The Finnish delegation to the UN General Assembly also consisted of Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.

On Thursday 22 September, President Niinistö travels to Washington, where he has several bilateral meetings.