President Sauli Niinistö on Wednesday expressed concern over more than hundred ongoing armed conflicts across the globe including the Russia´s invasion of Ukraine.
Addressing the 78th General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the President pointed out the serious global consequence of Ukraine war and underscored the need for continuation of the discussions recently held in Jeddah to find out an amicable solution of the crisis.
“Globally, people’s sense of security has decreased to an alarming level. There are over a hundred armed conflicts ongoing worldwide. People in Afghanistan, Sudan and Yemen, and in many other countries, continue to face enormous humanitarian needs. We should not lose sight of any of these emergencies,” he said.
Terming the Russia’s aggression is a direct violation of the United Nations Charter, the President said that the war affected all both in principle and practice.
“It has serious consequences globally. The war in Ukraine must not become one of the many protracted conflicts we see around the world today,” Niinistö added.
He also said that by aiding Ukraine, Finland, together with many others, supports Ukraine’s inherent right to self-defence.
“For many Finns, Ukraine’s fight for freedom carries echoes of our own history,” he said.
Pointing out many global challenges from climate change to pandemics, poverty to wars, he said that the problems cannot be solved by one country or group of like-minded countries alone.
He said that Asian, African and Latin American countries are powerful geopolitical players and the fastest growing and most populous economies of today are found in precisely those regions.
“That needs to be reflected in our debates,” he said.
He said that Finland has long underlined the importance of the universal and binding nature of human rights. Human rights need to be respected even when our societies face turmoil.
“In difficult times, the rights of women and girls are often eroded. We need to be decisive in safeguarding these rights,” he said.
The President said that as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, Finland works together with all stakeholders to uphold universal human rights.
“No country is perfect when it comes to human rights; we can learn from each other. When one of us fails, the international community needs to ensure accountability for violations,” he added.
Speaking on the climate issue he said important steps have been taken, but more needs to be done.
“Any progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals will be undermined if we do not manage to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees,” said Niinistö, adding that climate change and biodiversity loss are challenges that the global community cannot escape.
- Sauli Niinistö