New York, 16 October 2023
The President of the United Nations General Assembly (PGA), H.E. Mr. Dennis Francis, will make his first official visit to Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 17 to 20 October 2023.
Mr. Francis will be attending the Council of Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNCPGA’s) annual meeting. He will also use the occasion to engage in separate bilateral consultations with key host Government senior officials, members of civil society and academia.
He will also undertake a familiarization tour of the Demilitarized Zone between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The President’s visit is an opportunity to strengthen international relations and foster cooperation on a range of global issues, while promoting peace and sustainability for all.
President Francis will deliver a keynote address at the opening of the UNCPGA on multilateralism, the role of the General Assembly, its Presidency, and the importance of cooperation through groups such as the UNCPGA.
The interactive discussions to follow will be structured around three key issues: outcomes from this year’s UNGA High-Level Week, revitalization of the work of the General Assembly, and the continued aggression against Ukraine with reflections also on the situation in the Middle East among other peace challenges.
While in Seoul, the President will also deliver a Guest Lecture to the Institute for Global Empowerment and Engagement at Yonsei University to an audience of young academics and faculty staff. The topic is anchored on SDGs and the overall theme for UNGA78.
President Francis will pay a courtesy call on the President of the Republic of Korea, Yoon Suk Yeol; the Prime Minister Han Duck-soo; and the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban ki-Moon.
These engagements will provide an invaluable opportunity to address a range of pressing global issues, including climate change, sustainable development, regional peace and security, denuclearization, and human rights.
The PGA will undertake a familiarization visit to the Demilitarized Zone with the sole purpose of strengthening the role of the General Assembly in the promotion of peace, cooperation among Member States and how the UN’s most representative body can foster world peace.
The President remains committed to the General Assembly’s mission of fostering international peace and cooperation. The visit to the Republic of Korea is therefore to underscore the UN’s dedication to open and constructive dialogue, ensuring a more prosperous and harmonious world.
He will be accompanied by his Chef de Cabinet, a Political Adviser, and a Communications Adviser.
The President and his team will return to New York on Friday 20 October 2023.
Travel costs are covered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and the OPGA Trust Fund.