Official Visit by Luxembourg's Foreign Minister to the United Nations
Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn travelled to New York on Monday 13 May 2013 for an official visit.
Minister Asselborn first addressed the United Nations High-level meeting of the General Assembly on the evaluation of the UN Global Action Plan on the fight against human trafficking. First adopted in July 2010, the UN Global Action Plan, represents the continuity of action undertaken by the United Nations to eradicate the scourge of human trafficking.
In his address, Minister Asselborn underlined the base nature of human trafficking, which feeds on the vulnerability of its victims – despite this, it is also a complex transnational phenomenon with a multitude of causes and forms. Action by the international community thus needs to be taken on a number of different levels and needs to comprise a national, regional and international approach. The Minister urged all UN Member States to commit to fighting human trafficking, by ratifying the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, recalling that Luxembourg had ratified the second additional protocol to the Palermo Convention, against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air in September 2012, thus completing the national legal framework for the fight against human trafficking.
Minister Asselborn also participated in the high-level debate of the Security Council on the “Challenges of the Fight against Terrorism in Africa in the Context of Maintaining International Peace and Security”, organised by the Togolese presidency of the Council. Minister Asselborn's participation in this debate underscores Luxembourg's attachment to addressing the root causes of terrorism and to defend human rights in the fight against terrorism in Africa. Aware that terrorism is a serious threat to peace and stability in a number of regions of the african continent, as is exemplified by the crisis in Mali with its many ramifications throughout the Sahel region, Minister Asselborn stressed the fact in his address that the fight against terrorism is a long-term effort, which requires the mobilisation of considerable means, both in terms of security and in terms of development cooperation. The head of Luxembourg's diplomacy recalled the importance of strengthening the dimension of civil security, all the while working resolutely for socio-economic development, in order to tackle the sources of frustration and exclusion which feed radicalisation and terrorism. In this context, Minister Asselborn shared his hope that the partnership, which Luxembourg had developed with a number of West African countries during the last two decades, could contribute to tackling root causes of conflicts and the roots of terrorism.
During his visit to New York, Minister Asselborn took part in a working lunch between the Security Council and the Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, before having a bilateral meeting with the SG. Their discussions concerned topics of current affairs on the Council's agenda, notably the situation in Syria, in the Middle East, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Mali.
Minister Asselborn also held bilateral talks with the President of the Republic of Togo, Faure Gnassingbé, to talk about the latest developments in Mali and in the Sahel region, as well as with the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the United Nations to take stock of the situation in Syria and in the Middle East.
Finally, Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign Affairs topped off his stay in New York with a visit to the United Nations Operations and crisis centre, a new structure allowing the UN to follow crises in real time, making it more responsive. Luxembourg contributed to the financing of this centre.