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POLAND: Poland at the UN

Polish President Andrzej Duda visited the UN headquarters in New York this week to take part in the 73rd session of the General Assembly. Duda focused on sovereignty and equality during his address to world leaders. He called for reforming the European Union, arguing that change is needed “through the return to the EU’s roots, which started as a conception of positive multilateralism, and which is being infringed upon today”. The Polish President also took part in the Security Council. In January, Poland assumed its seat as a non-permanent member at the UN Security Council for the first time in 20 years. Duda outlined that the plan for Poland’s second year of the term is to focus on the “sovereign equality of states” – this is also likely to be a reference to what the ruling PiS party calls EU interference into domestic Polish affairs. The President also announced Poland’s willingness to re-join the UN’s peacekeeping missions and he condemned chemical weapon attacks “which must not go unanswered”.

While Duda’s appearance did gather some media attention in Poland, the main focus was on US President Donald Trump. During his GA address, Trump said “In Poland, a great people are standing up for their independence, their security and their sovereignty.”. At the same time, Trump criticized Germany for its energy links with Russia in view of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project. This message was received very positively by the ruling camp in Poland. The ruling party’s relationship with the US forms the bulk of its narrative in terms of successes in foreign affairs. Trump’s words are likely to play a part in the upcoming election season.