Niinistö Goes To New York

North Korea, Myanmar, UN reform up for discussion as President Niinistö meets Trump and UN Secretary General

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A sign outside of the General Assembly building highlights the hash tag for attendees to use to promote the General Assembly / Credit: UN Photo

Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö will meet with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York today.

It’s part of his US visit which took in independence anniversary celebrations at the Finnish Embassy in Washington DC on Saturday; a conference with Donald Trump about reforming the UN; a speech at the UN General Assembly; and celebrating Suomi 100 with the Finnish community in Minnesota.

In addition, President Niinistö will be at an environment summit hosted by France’s President Emmanuel Macron. He’ll give a speech at the UN agency for gender equality and women’s rights. And he’ll give the keynote address at a climate change event on Thursday as well.

After New York and United Nations events, President Niinistö will be in Minnesota to attend more Suomi 100 celebrations.

The President is accompanied on his trip by Foreign Minister Timo Soini (Blue), and Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Kai Mykkänen (NCP), and the First Lady Jenni Haukio.

Trump’s UN Reform

America is the UN’s biggest financial backer, and today President Niinistö will participate in a conference hosted by Donald Trump, who has said he wants widespread reform at the UN and has threatened to slash budget contributions.

Security Council Permanent Members France and Russia have reacted coolly to Trump’s initiative, and some countries have expressed concern that the US administration is focusing more on cutting costs than improving the UN’s operations.

North Korea, Myanmar

Foreign Ministers, including Finland’s Timo Soini, are due to discuss the implementation of sanctions against North Korea on Thursday, and Donald Trump will hold his own talks with the leaders of Japan and South Korea the same day.

Meanwhile Britain’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson will host a meeting to discuss the situation in Myanmar where more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled violence and persecution. The UN has said it amounts to ethnic cleansing. That meeting will also be attended by a representative from the Myanmar government, although the country’s de facto leader, Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi will not be in New York.