Vienna, 27 November 2017 – The President of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, today paid his first official visit to the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV).

Addressing the opening of the 17th Session of the General Conference of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), he said that “industrial development often conjures up images of big factories and heavy machinery“, while in fact “people are at the heart of industrial development.”

To keep people in focus and achieve the goals set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the President stressed that “we cannot impact global development without inclusive and sustainable industrial development.“

The President reminded participants that partnerships are urgently needed as “Governments by themselves cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the same time, entrepreneurs cannot simply focus on their bottom line. Neither of these models prove sustainable”.

Overall, he said that “multilateralism remains the best approach to confront shared challenges and achieve joint success”.

While in Austria, the President met with Heads of State, high-level participants and United Nations officials.

In his meeting with the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Director-General of UNOV, Mr. Yury Fedotov, he discussed combatting human trafficking and corruption, as well as counter-terrorism.

He spoke about his priorities, in particular sustaining peace, and his forthcoming visit to Geneva with H.E. Ms. Doris Leuthard, President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications. With H.E. Ms. Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, he exchanged views on the importance of inclusive sustainable development and discussed women empowerment across all pillars of the United Nations, as well as within the work of the General Assembly at headquarters in New York.

In his meeting with Mr. Thomas Greminger, Secretary-General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the President talked about migration and the OSCE’s experience in the field of peacebuilding and conflict prevention.

Also in Vienna, the President met with Austrian dignitaries and commended them on Austria’s significant contributions as a United Nations host country. He congratulated H.E. Mr. Sebastian Kurz, Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria, on his recent election and agreed with the Federal President of Austria, H.E. Mr. Alexander Van der Bellen, that the United Nations has to adapt to respond to the evolving challenges that people face.

Tonight, the President will travel to Geneva, Switzerland.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Katharina Kandt, Communications Adviser to the President of the General Assembly,, +1 917-244-3890