Foreign Trade Minister Jari Vilén met with Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Louise Frechette in New York on Tuesday, 28 January. He also met with Assistant Secretary General Michael Doyle and UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown.
The talks focused on the Iraq crisis and the UN preparations for humanitarian assistance. Frechette was concerned over the fact that there have been difficulties in stockpiling aid as donor countries have refrained from pledging aid, the United States being the exception.
Adequate resources must be allocated to help the Iraqi people during the crisis and also for the post-crisis reconstruction programme over a long-term period, agreed Vilén. He considered it vital that the Iraqi people were no longer made to suffer for the mistakes of their government. We must help those who need it and make sure they receive the aid, he said.
They also talked about the follow-up of the trade liberation and the Doha conference. Vilén emphasised the obligations of the EU and the United States on maintaining the negotiation timetable. The EU enlargement and the interim evaluation on agriculture would contribute to the proceeding of the negotiations, said Vilén to Frechette. With regard to the objectives of the UN Millennium Declaration, they agreed on the importance of promoting trade and development. Objectives can best be achieved by assisting developing countries to strengthen their trade capabilities, for example within the Aid for Trade programme.
=A92003 Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland