From September 17-21, 2017, President Alexander Van der Bellen was in New York City for the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly. He was joined by Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz for a meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who thanked Austria for her support.
Meeting Heads of State
On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, President Van der Bellen held bilateral meetings with H.M. the King of Jordan Abdullah II, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran, Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Fayez al-Sarraj, the Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya, President Lenín Moreno of Ecuador, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and with Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Besides the above flurry of bilateral meetings with his counterparts, the President attended a number of UN meetings like the “high level meeting for the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse” or the formal opening of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Furthermore, President Alexander Van der Bellen crowned his first visit to the UN as Head of the Austrian delegation with a number of outstanding side events: First came the "Austrian-American-Day" Reception on Monday evening at the Austrian Consulate - General
On Tuesday night, he opened the exhibition WILD WEST, on view at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York through January 22, 2018. The group exhibition commemorates the dynamic legacy of late Austrian artist Franz West (1947-2012). Curated by former West-collaborator Andreas Reiter Raabe, the show consists of works by Franz West, his New York-based contemporaries, as well as commissioned works by emerging artists from both New York and Austria.
Afterwards, he was the guest of U.S. President Donald Trump and wife Melania at a diplomatic reception for heads of state at the Palace Hotel.
On Wednesday morning, he met with former NYC-Mayor Michael Bloomberg and attended a selective “Business and Climate Leaders Roundtable” of global business leaders, heads of state and politicians on “green financing” at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum.
Before heading back to Austria on Wednesday evening, President Van der Bellen gave a speech entitled EU - An Ever Closer Union? at the World Leaders Forum of Columbia University and answered a multitude of questions by faculty members and students. Watch his full speech here.