New Year's Reception of the Austrian Federal President for the Diplomatic Corps

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: January 23, 2024; 23:27 ♦ (Vindobona)

In a speech during the New Year's reception for the diplomatic corps, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen emphasized the need to create a more peaceful and just world. In a world marked by crises, natural disasters, and wars, he called for unity and dialog.

Address by Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen on the Occasion of the New Year’s Reception for the Diplomatic Corps. / Picture: © Österreichische Präsidentschaftskanzlei / Peter Lechner/HBF

Van der Bellen reflected on the year 2023, which was marked by severe earthquakes in Turkey, northern Syria, Morocco, and Japan. He also mentioned the catastrophic effects of the climate crisis with devastating floods in countries such as Libya, Germany, Greece, and Italy.

Solidarity with Israel and the fight against anti-Semitism

The President condemned the brutal acts of Hamas against Israel on October 7, 2023, which revealed a new level of violence. He emphasized Austria's solidarity with Israel and the country's commitment to the fight against anti-Semitism.

Support for Ukraine

Van der Bellen spoke out in favor of continued support for Ukraine, which remains exposed to Russia's war of aggression. He emphasized that Ukraine is not only defending its own country but also the freedom and values of Europe.

Europe is growing together

The Federal President welcomed the enlargement of the European Union and praised the opening of accession negotiations with Ukraine as well as the European Council's recognition of the efforts of Moldova, Georgia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The role of elections in 2024

He emphasized the importance of the upcoming elections in over 70 countries, including the USA, India, Mexico, South Africa, and the European Parliament elections. These elections bring with them hopes and fears, and Van der Bellen appealed for cooperation and respect among each other, regardless of their results.

Fighting the climate crisis

The President referred to the record temperatures and climatic events of 2023 and emphasized the need to implement the resolutions of COP28 in Dubai. He underlined the importance of the next climate conference COP29 in Baku for the future of our planet.

Call for cooperation and vision

Van der Bellen called on the diplomats to continue the dialog and to act in the interest of mutual understanding. He emphasized the importance of never losing sight of the vision of a more peaceful, just world and an intact planet for future generations.

Presidential Chancellery of Austria