Meeting Between Antonio Guterres and Karl Nehammer Dominated by the Ukraine Crisis

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: May 11, 2022; 17:30 ♦ (Vindobona)

UN Secretary General António Guterres met with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer today to discuss current issues such as the war in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic. Both partners were convinced of the importance of continuing to negotiate with the Russian aggressor and discussed Austria's role in mediating peace.

Antonio Guterres with Karl Nehammer and Alexander Schallenberg. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Dragan Tatic

After the UN Secretary-General António Guterres had an exchange with the Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen in the morning, Vindobona reported, he now met Austria's Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer.

Just like his first conversation in Vienna, the focus was on the conflict surrounding the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian army.

"It is a great pleasure for us to welcome the Secretary-General of the United Nations here today. Austria is the seat of the United Nations (UN). We are proud and grateful of this. We have excellent cooperation and will continue to expand it," said Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer at a press conference following a working meeting together with UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg at the Federal Chancellery.

The UN Secretary-General is in Austria until Friday for the spring meeting of the UN's highest coordination and strategy body, which he chairs.

The conversation between the two politicians largely dealt with the central issues of the still young year: the war in Ukraine and the Corona crisis.

The exchange also focused on the possibility of Austria acting as a mediator state between Ukraine and Russia. As a member of the European Union and the United Nations, Austria would be in an ideal position to bring about peace or to promote concrete assistance.

In the present, green corridors are an important project that aims to deliver millions of tonnes of harvested grain, such as wheat, maize and oilseeds, to feed the world.

"This mainly hits North Africa, Pakistan and India. It is a task that the global community should and must tackle together. Close cooperation with the United Nations is needed here. Austria will do its part as best it can," the Federal Chancellor said, assuring that Austria was already in the process of operational implementation in order to provide Ukraine with the best possible support.

Austria always stands by the United Nations when it comes to helping people said Nehammer. 8 million vaccine doses were donated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Austria is also a strong supporter of the World Food Programme, "because it is necessary to make stability and security possible for the people of the world."

Austria would also advocate for further funding at the European level. Even if the European focus is currently on the conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, Austria has an obligation to help countries in need directly and immediately with the help of the United Nations: "We must not forget the world in addition to this war in Ukraine. We must not forget the refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. And we must not overlook those regions in Africa and Asia that are threatened by poverty," said the Chancellor.

Federal Chancellery of Austria