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Helsinki, Finland, 14 October 2011

Meeting with H.E. Ms. Tarja Halonen, President of the Republic Finland

The President of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, held talks on Thursday with the President of Finland, H.E. Ms. Tarja Halonen. The talks covered a wide range of issues, including  Mediation , Sustainable Development, Disarmament, preparations for the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) and UN Reform.

President Al-Nasser and President Halonen further exchanged views on the issue of Mediation, which President Al-Nasser has chosen as the main topic of the Thematic Debate of the recently-concluded General Debate of the 66th Session of the General Assembly.  Over the past year, Finland, as one of the co-chairs of the Group of Friends of Mediation, has played an important role in highlighting the relevance of mediation in resolving disputes.

The President of the General Assembly also discussed with President Halonen preparations for next week’s informal briefing of the High Level Panel on Global Sustainability that he will chair on October 20th at the UN.  The panel is co-chaired by President Halonen and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa.


Meeting with H.E. Erkki Tuomioja, Minister of Foreign Affairs

The President of the General Assembly also  met with H.E. Mr, Erkki Tuomioja Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland on Thursday. They discussed the main issues on the agenda of the 66th Session of the General Assembly, including Mediation, Disarmament, Rio+20 preparations, and developments in the Middle East.

During the discussions, President Al-Nasser commended Finland for the country’s role during negotiations at the General Assembly that led to the adoption of last June’s GA Resolution 65/283 on strengthening the role of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution.

President Al-Nasser welcomed Finland’s announcement to host the NPT 2012 Conference on the establishment of a Middle East zone that is free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and the appointment of  Mr. Jaakko Laajava, who is the Under-Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, as the facilitator.


Meeting with the Speaker of the Parliament of Finland and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

President Al-Nasser also held talks on Wednesday, with Mr. Eero Heinäluoma, The Speaker of the Parliament of Finland. The President of the General Assembly commended Finland for its support for the General Assembly agenda for the 66th session and in particular for the role in highlighting the issue of Mediation.

In his meeting with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Pertti Torstila, the President of the General Assembly exchanged views on a number of issues of mutual concern to Finland and the United Nations. They also reviewed recent events in the Middle East and North Africa and the agenda of the 66th Session of the General Assembly.




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