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Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark Jeppe kofod's Statement at the General Debate of UNGA77

Mr President of the General Assembly, Mr. Secretary General, distinguished delegates of fellow member states,

As we gather for the 77th opening of the General Assembly, the unique and indispensable convening power of the UN is evident for all to see.

Having listened to speeches from around the world, it is equally clear that the UN Charter continues to inspire and fill us with hope for a better world.

And still, our world is in crisis. We are – in the words of the Secretary-General – “gridlocked in colossal global dysfunction”.


Six month ago, war erupted again in Europe. Unprovoked, Russia attacked Ukraine – a shared neighbour of Russia and Europe. The military aggression is a vicious onslaught on the people of Ukraine. Their resilience and bravery in the face of brutality is awe-inspiring.

Throughout the week, we have heard many perspectives on the Russian aggression. We have heard the concerns of fellow member states, geographically remote from the war, worried about being caught in the middle of a new cold war. And we have heard the despair over the consequences on food supplies and energy prices worldwide. We acknowledge these concerns. But also feel the need to stress, that they are caused by the Russian aggression. Not by international sanctions.

Importantly, we have heard no one – apart from a few self-interested voices - denying the evident: that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is a direct violation of the UN Charter.

Let me be clear: Russia’s invasion of a neighbouring state. President Putin’s blatant imperial ambitions. His horrifying allusions to using nuclear weapons. These are unprecedented threats against not only Europe, but international peace and security. We are extremely concerned.

So yes. We rally fellow member states to take a stand for the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Just as Denmark has stood up in support of the independence and sovereignty of other nations throughout the history of the United Nations. Against apartheid and for decolonization.

This is an appeal to all member states to stand firmly on the side of the UN Charter. To fight back against an international disorder, where might makes right.

We appeal to the rest of the world to see Russia’s aggression for what it is: an attempt to expand its own territory by force. This is completely unacceptable. Not just to European neighbours, who rightly worry that we could be next in line, if Putin has his way in Ukraine. But for all who believes in the sanctity of the Charter and the principles of territorial integrity and political independence of sovereign states.

We appeal for your understanding. A war in our back yard. Raged by a permanent member of the Security Council and a nuclear power. The influx of millions Ukranian refugees to Europe. This will obviously tap a great deal of our resources and political focus. This will inevitably be the case until the territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored and respected.


This being said, we do not neglect other crises and global challenges. We know that our other joint challenges remain – and have in many cases been aggravated by the Russian act of aggression.

The most pressing crises of our time are all truly global. Climate, pandemic, violent conflict, instability, forced displacement, food insecurity. We feel them everywhere. Regardless of where we live. In our every-day life as the price of food and energy rises. Rising inequality. As extreme weather and climate-induced disasters hit.

Yet, even as these events affect us all, there is no doubt, that they are felt most strongly by the most vulnerable, the most fragile and the poorest among us. Developing countries are - unfairly and unjust - hit the hardest by the global crises of our time.

This was - and is – clearly the case with COVID19. The lingering repercussions of the pandemic continue to inflict human and economic wounds on societies in the Global South.

Collectively, we must do more to address both the problems at hand and the fundamental imbalances of the world we share. And we must do it now. For the sake of both current and future generations.

None of us can steer through pandemics or counter the climate crisis alone. And nor should we.

In the 21th century, it is – or rather, it should be – clear to us all that the future we share depends on solidarity. And on our ability to address and overcome the fault lines and divisions that increasingly drive us apart. Solidarity is an investment. In prosperity. In security. In peace. In this regard, Denmark is one of very few countries that lives up to the UN target of 0,7 percent. We have done so for more than forty years.

Today, more than anything we need climate solidarity.

The industrialized world must acknowledge our responsibility to deliver on the climate crisis. Climate solidarity means climate financing. As Denmark strives to reduce our own footprint, we have made major global commitments on climate adaptation and climate financing.

We have massively scaled up Danish grant-based climate finance to at least 500 million USD a year by 2023. We are dedicating 60 percent to adaptation in poor and vulnerable countries. And we are strengthening our efforts to mobilize public and private finance from other sources. In total, Denmark aims to contribute at least 1 percent of the collective target of 100 billion dollars. Way above our relative share.

And we call on others to follow. And to do so urgently. If a small country like Denmark can, the G20 can.

We also need to step up and listen to those affected the most by climate-induced damages.

We were proud to be the first contributor to the Santiago Network at COP26 and this week we have followed up with several new initiatives for those hardest hit and the world’s poorest.

As we look towards COP27, Denmark will also be among the founding members of the Systems Observations Financing Facility. An initiative, taken by Secretary-General Guterres to ensure that early warning services reach everyone in the next five years.

It is a small step. But it is important. Because it will make a difference in the lives of people and societies living on the brink.


The UN’s most essential task is to save the world from the scourge of war. This might sound like a lofty ideal, but in essence, it is about providing the space for the difficult conversations, restoring trust, finding the spaces for common ground on those issues where we stand far apart.

The UN needs to deliver on this. But the UN is all of us, and the UN is only as good as what we as member states put into it. We all need to put in the work and take responsibility to ensure that the trenches between us do not grow deeper. We can not freeride on multilateralism. We must not neglect to maintain and protect the global common that the United Nations is. Denmark is ready to do our part.

Just a few hours ago, Denmark announced that we are running for a seat in the United Nations Security Council for the period of 2025-26.

If elected to the Security Council, Denmark will do all we can to help ensure that the Council fulfils its vital mandate of maintaining international peace and security.

As a small country with a long history of global engagement and international solidarity, Denmark takes pride in being a bridge-builder. We know – simply by virtue of our smallness – that if we want to achieve anything, we must work with others. And we must do so on the basis of partnership and dialogue.

We pursue cooperation where all voices are heard. We seek honest conversations with partners about the challenges we face. And we work to find ways of confronting them together. This is the spirit of cooperation, we hope to bring to the Security Council.


The candidature is a natural extension of our longstanding and unwavering commitment to multilateralism in general and to the United Nations in particular.

We all need a UN-system that is fit for the future and able to deliver effectively for today. Denmark is a long-time advocate for UN reforms – both at the highest level and in the every-day workings of the organization.

We championed the reform of the UN development system. We continue to support the implementation of the reforms, both financially and politically.

Earlier this week, we launched the Pledge to Predictable Payments initiative. It is a small, yet pragmatic step; paving the way for a UN better able to act. We urge you all to help the UN help us all, by recommitting to the goal of making our payment patterns predictable and transparent. Giving the UN predictability is a small act with no cost to us as individual member states, but it is of significant value to the United Nations’ ability to serve us.

The UN, however, also needs more fundamental reform. In particular, it needs a UN Security Council that better reflects the world of today. During the 76th General Assembly, Denmark co-facilitated the inter-governmental negotiations of Security Council reform. We will continue to advocate for reform towards a more accountable, representative, transparent and effective Council.

This also means that even as we call on fellow member states to stand up for the UN Charter and its universal principles and aspirations, we must not settle for simply defending the status quo. We need to do more. We need to do better. And we need to do it together.

The good news is that we know what needs to be done. The UN Secretary General has presented us with a sobering analysis of the state of the world in “Our Common Agenda” and presented a clear path forward. Denmark fully supports the SG’s vision and remains unwavering in our commitment to a revitalized multilateralism with the UN at the centre.

We look forward to working with fellow member states in translating the vision into reality. And we will do our part to ensure that we – as a collective – make the most of the upcoming “sister summits”: the SDG Summit in September 2023 and the Summit of the Future in 2024.

Because these two agendas – the 2030 Agenda and Our Common Agenda – are mutually reinforcing. The twin agendas and the sister summits provides us not only with a sense of direction, but also with the tools to get there. If we work together.


Moving forward - together – on the twin agendas of these summits provides a way out of the current gridlock of global dysfunction. A way for us to live up to the expectations of future generations.

And let us not forget that this remains the Decade of Action. Let’s act!

Thank you