No alternative to international cooperation, stresses Austrian minister at UN Assembly

Sebastian Kurz, Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria, addresses the General Assembly’s annual general debate. UN Photo/Cia Pak

19 September 2017 – Conflicts around the globe, as well as the pressing challenges of poverty, hunger and climate change continue to exact terrible human suffering, said Sebastian Kurz, the Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria, noting that the most concerning issue is the lack of trust in the ability of States and institutions to solve these challenges.

“This is a dangerous development because there is no alternative to international cooperation,” he said, addressing the 72nd annual general debate at the United Nations General Assembly.

Speaking on terrorism, he underscored that in addition to destroying radical groups militarily where they operate, more action needs to be taken to stop radicalism in societies and to prevent youths from being misled.

He also underscored that the migration crisis, could not be managed by any one country on its own.

“Uncontrolled migration leads to chaos, therefore, we need to manage orderly migration and support people as much as possible in their countries of origin,” he added, noting the need for more effective control of borders, combatting the activities of human traffickers and effective support for countries of origin.

Turning to the crisis emanating from the nuclear weapons development programme of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Minister Kurz reiterated that nuclear disarmament remained the “number one unfinished business.”

“Today, we often hear that nuclear weapons are necessary for security. This narrative is not only wrong, it is dangerous,” he said, urging support for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted in July at a UN conference.

Concluding his remarks, he noted that a time when universal values are under threat, the international community needs to stand strong for human rights, rule of law and good governance. “I can assure you that Austria will continue to work for effective international cooperation.”


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