Request to the poorest countries – Schallenberg is campaigning for Ukraine


Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) has called on the poorest developing countries to support Ukraine. “If the law of the strongest applies, the security of all nations in the world is at risk,” Schallenberg said Monday at a UN conference on the least developed countries (LDC) in Qatar.

Schallenberg emphasized that the Russian offensive war in Ukraine was “not a European war”. “The past few years have shown us that events in one place can quickly turn into a global shock wave,” he said. Many countries in the Global South are accused of being passive or even sympathetic to the aggressor Russia. This is an attempt to blame the West for the war and associated global effects such as higher energy and food prices. In the run-up to the conference, Schallenberg announced that he wanted to take a stand against the “Russian narrative”.

Austria and the EU as reliable “partners”
In his speech, the Minister of Foreign Affairs acknowledged that the least developed countries in particular have been hit hard by the energy and food crisis, with rising prices and disrupted supply chains. “In these difficult times, the European Union stands by its partners,” Schallenberg said, pointing out that the European Commission and EU countries are still “by far” the largest contributors of development cooperation funds worldwide.

Pandemic, war, climate change and natural disasters such as the recent earthquake in Turkey and Syria have sometimes wiped out “decades of development progress”. To achieve the UN Development Goals (SDG), a “significant increase in funding” is therefore necessary. “That is exactly what Austria is doing,” said Schallenberg, noting that spending on bilateral development cooperation (DC) and humanitarian aid is higher than ever before.

Austria’s efforts in this area are also bearing fruit. “Bhutan, a priority country of Austrian development cooperation, will lose its LDC status this year,” the foreign minister reported.

Many appointments for Schallenberg
Schallenberg also wanted to use his participation in the conference for numerous bilateral talks with colleagues of African foreign ministers, including those from Burkina Faso, Mali and Uganda. Schallenberg will also meet Yemen’s foreign minister and Bhutan’s prime minister, as well as his Qatari counterpart.

Source: Krone


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