Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis presented Greece’s candidacy for the position of non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the two-year period 2025-2026, as well as the organisation of the 9th Our Ocean Conference in Athens, on April 15-17.
The Greek foreign minister had a meeting with the representatives of the countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in New York and then lunch with the representatives of the small island developing states of Asia and the Pacific (Pacific SIDS).
The specific contacts are part of the campaign that Greek diplomacy has long launched, in order to achieve the goal of Greece’s election to the UN Security Council.
Gerapetritis assured the representatives of the island states that Greece, as a state that itself has a great many islands, “is well able to understand the problems of island states, such as your countries.” In this context, he explained that Greece is willing to work with all its strength, as a member of the UN Security Council, for the best possible implementation of the UN Charter.
“Greece follows a foreign policy of principles and values, which is not transactional. Our priorities, which correspond to these principles and values, include respect for international law, the strengthening of international justice, but also the consistent implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which is a binding link between your countries and Greece,” Gerapetritis noted.
The tools with which Greece will pursue these goals are encoded in three words accompanying the Greek candidacy: “Dialogue-Diplomacy-Democracy”. Analyzing these concepts, Gerapetritis stressed the need to promote the participation of citizens in decision-making and especially the active involvement of young people.
As he pointed out, “the current crises makes it absolutely necessary to strengthen the consultation mechanisms, but also the structures and processes of global governance.” Greece even intends to actively contribute to the debate on the reform of international governance institutions and the formation of international responsibility and accountability mechanisms.
Gerapetritis underlined the need for a peaceful resolution of disputes in conjunction with the condemnation of any threat of violence and referred extensively to the intensification of the dialogue on the UN’s response to the risks associated with climate change. After all, the climate crisis is inextricably linked to crises and destabilising situations, with the Sahel region and the crisis in Haiti being typical examples.
As can be expected, this issue is of particular interest to the CARICOM countries, where extreme weather conditions and ongoing disasters have caused social tensions and weakened state institutions. “The threefold climate-peace-security will be at the core of our action,” he noted.
Gerapetritis insisted that every possible effort should be made to fight international inequalities, but also to deal with the consequences of global crises, such as climate change, pandemics and the aggression of certain states. “Besides international peace, special emphasis should be placed on prosperity. Because the lack of prosperity and the absence of a development perspective are factors that undermine international peace and security,” said the minister.
9th Our Ocean Conference in Athens
Referring to the 9th Our Ocean Conference, Gerapetritis reiterated Greece’s commitment to the protection of the seas and its pursuit of strengthening cooperation on all important related issues, such as the impact of climate change, loss of biodiversity, overfishing, the blue economy, marine pollution and navigation safety.
“Our goal is to highlight the fundamental importance of the oceans for the future, to accelerate actions to address the risks and to secure even more commitments from all involved,” Gerapetritis explained. “Therefore,” he said, “possibilities should be created to transfer know-how and equipment to deal with and prevent climate disasters. And, of course, the value of maritime security and freedom of navigation cannot be ignored, given recent developments in the Red Sea.”