“In facing the global challenges of today’s world, the United Nations must step up co-operation with regional organisations such as the Council of Europe,” said Aleksandra Djurović, acting Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on External Relations of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy, at the end of several meetings in New York.
Ms Djurović further stressed the importance of a stronger involvement of parliamentarians in the work of the UN. “Our visit is a practical contribution to this aim: our UN interlocutors have appreciated this opportunity to exchange views with representatives of European people, and we have been able to voice concerns and receive first-hand information on key issues on the international agenda”.
The Sub-Committee gathered in New York from 7 to 9 December 2016 and held meetings with Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations; Helen Clark, Under-Secretary General, Administrator of the United Nations Development programme (UNDP); Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel; Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator; Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support; Andrew Gilmour, Assistant Secretary-General, Head of the New York Office of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); Jean-Paul Laborde, Assistant Secretary-General, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED); El Ghassim Wane, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations; and Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.
Parliamentarians also met with Ambassador Nicholas Emiliou, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cyprus; Ambassador Román Oyarzun Marchesi, Permanent Representative of Spain, President of the UN Security Council in December 2016; and Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation.