Pressemøde i Statsministeriet

Pressemøde den 10. oktober 2019

Det talte ord gælder.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:
“Welcome to this press conference. Allow me to begin with a remark on the situation in Syria.

I think we are all deeply concerned and we, and I, strongly condemn the Turkish offensive in North-East Syria.

The EU, and of course also Denmark, have urged Turkey to cease the military operations, and I understand that the Security Council is meeting today to discuss the situation. And I think it ́s a very important first step. I think that it is now very critical that the international community stands together and put the strongest possible pressure on Turkey.

And then, of course I would like to welcome you, it ́s an honour that you are here in Denmark. Thank you for your work and your tireless efforts to gather all the nations in the world. And I was planning to say: for a more peaceful and sustainable future, and of course it ́s difficult words in these hours.

But I would just like to underline that Denmark fully supports your efforts, also when it comes to putting the climate changes on the international agenda. And I think all leaders around the world need to support the international cooperation, and it is quite clear to us that there is no answer that doesn ́t include the UN system.

We have discussed different questions today. Of course, climate changes, the situation in Syria, and I have also underlined that we think it ́s very difficult that we will be able, internationally and in Europe, to develop a more fair and more humane asylum system. And for all that, we need a strong UN and that ́s why it ́s a great pleasure for us to have you here today. And then I ́ll pass the floor on to you.

UN Secretary General António Guterres:
Thank you very much, prime minister, it ́s a pleasure to be visiting Denmark, a very good friend of the United Nations and a strong supporter of international cooperation.

The Prime Minister and I had a very productive discussion on a wide range of issues, but of course the climate crisis was high on the agenda. And I had the occasion to thank Denmark for hosting todays gathering of mayors from seventy of the world’s leading cities, known as the C40, an important follow-up on the climate action summit that was convened in New York just two weeks ago.

Denmark co-led the energy transition part of the summit, Denmark is also a partner in the new climate investment platform that was just launched in New York, and Denmark is a frontrunner on energy efficiency and the transition to our economic future, the green economy.

We all know that the climate emergency is worsening day by day, storm by storm, draught by draught, fire by fire. Global emissions are increasing. The world has just experienced the hottest summer in the northern hemisphere ever, and the second hottest winter in the southern hemisphere ever.

The years 2015 to 2019 have been the five hottest years on the books ever. And we are still seeing enormous subsidies for fossil fuels and coal plants and other old, bad habits.

At the same time, we know there are solutions as enlightened in the climate action summit, and technology is on our side and as you know we have a roadmap, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement. And science is also telling us it is not too late.

But to avoid the climate cliff, we need to cut greenhouse emissions by 45% by 2030, reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century.

And Denmark is showing ambition, and I continue to press all countries, including the larger emitters, to show leadership.

But there are also many other aspects in which I would like to thank Denmark. For their very important financial contributions to our work and to the prevention of conflicts in the world, for the mediation of disputes, for the support of a peacebuilding fund, for the support to peacekeeping operations and for its commitment to human rights and its commitment to preserve a quota of 0.7% of its GDP for official development assistance.

I also want to say how much we thank Denmark for leadership, action, ambition, and global citizenship in tackling the many problems we face on so many fronts.

Of course, this is also the moment in which I want to express my deep concern about the escalation of conflict we are witnessing in eastern Syria. It is absolutely essential to have a de-escalation of this conflict.

Military operations must always respect the United Nations charter and international humanitarian law.

And I ́m particularly worried with the humanitarian concerns that exist now in relation to not only possible casualties but also meaningfull displacement that is taking place.

I don ́t believe in military solutions for the Syrian problem or for any other problem in the world. I ́ve always strongly believed in political solutions, and we have a roadmap for political solutions, the Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015). And the Security Council, by the way, will be meeting in New York this morning, again, on the situation in Syria.

And one of the things that is also clear, is that any solution for Syria will need to respect the sovereignty, the territorial integrity, and the unity of Syria.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:
TV2 først?

A question to the Secretary-General, related to the crisis at the Syrian border after the Turkish military intervention. Your Excellency, it has been suggested that a peacekeeping force could be a solution, either on a European basis or eventually on United Nations peacekeeping force. Do you see this as a likely solution?

UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
The problem of peace-keeping forces is, as the name indicates, you need to have peace to keep. You cannot have a peacekeeping force where there is no peace to keep.

A peacekeeping force is always the result of a political agreement. And, of course, if there is a political agreement and there is peace to keep and a political agreement, a peacekeeping force has an important role to play.

We are not yet there, I believe. So, at the present moment, what we must do, is to make sure that we have a de-escalation of the conflict in Syria and of course I ́m worried about eastern Syria but I ́m also worried about Idlib.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:
Danmarks Radio?

Mr. Secretary-General, the Prime Minister Erdogan mentioned today that he might a sort of release a wave of refugees, of 3.6 million refugees. Is the UN system capable of reacting to a task of that size? What is your comment to the remarks of the Turkish Prime Minister?

(Og så vil jeg også godt spørge statsministeren, hvad er den danske reaktion på muligheden for 3,6 millioner flygtninge?).

And a question for the Danish prime minister: What is the Danish reaction to the possibility of 3.6 million refugees?

UN Secretary-General António Guterres:
In the letter that I received from the Turkish Government in relation to the present situation it was said that any movement of refugees would respect the principles of voluntariness, safety, and dignity.

That is the only thing I can tell you, because it is based on the letter that I received from the Turkish Government.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:
(Altså, jeg synes der er al grund til at understrege alvoren i situationen, og der er jo, synes jeg, både et spørgsmål om, at utrolig mange civile kan komme i klemme. Jeg er bange for, at indsatsen imod ISIL bliver sat tilbage. Og så har både Danmark og Europa den udfordring, at der sidder en del fremmedkrigere og deres slægtninge, som har forladt Europa og Danmark og ikke skal tilbage hertil, som vi jo også risikerer pludselig kan blive sat på fri fod. Og så er der måske oven i det en trussel om, at den aftale, der er lavet mellem EU og Tyrkiet på flygtningeområder – også bliver opsagt. Det håber jeg selvfølgelig ikke, og jeg mener både Europa og Tyrkiet har den aftale. Så, det er dét, vi arbejder ud fra. Men situationen er da på alle mulige måder alvorlig.)

I think we have every reason to underline the seriousness of the situation and it is, I think, a question of both an unbelievable number of civilian at risk of being trapped. I ́m afraid that the effort against ISIL is going to suffer a setback. And both Denmark and Europe face the challenge that there are a number of foreign warriors and their relatives, who have left Denmark and Europe and therefore are not supposed to go back here, and we are faced with the risk that they might be set free. And then, perhaps in addition to all that, there is a threat that the agreement that was made between Turkey and the EU could be repealed. Of course, I hope that this is not going to happen, and I believe that both the EU and Turkey need this agreement and so that is what we base our efforts upon. But the situation is serious, in every aspect.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:
Unfortunately, this was all we had time for. So, thank you for coming, all of you.