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Polish president to highlight Russian disinformation at UN conference in Qatar: envoy

03.03.2023 12:30
Poland’s president will use his appearance at a United Nations conference in Qatar this month to counter Russian disinformation about the war in Ukraine, the Polish ambassador to the UN has said. 
Krzysztof Szczerski.
Krzysztof Szczerski. PAP/Łukasz Gągulski

President Andrzej Duda will attend the Fifth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) in the Qatari capital Doha on Sunday and Monday, Poland's PAP news agency reported.

Polish President Andrzej Duda Polish President Andrzej Duda. Photo: PAP/Paweł Supernak

Poland’s envoy to the UN, Krzysztof Szczerski, told the Polish state news agency that the LDC event is held once in a decade, bringing together the world’s 46 least developed countries and “wealthier partners from various parts of the globe.”   

Szczerski said: “For the least developed countries, it’s the most important event of the decade. It offers them an opportunity to meet with political partners, UN agencies and business partners.”

As part of the Doha conference, which starts on Sunday, US giant Microsoft is set to co-host a business forum where the world’s biggest companies will discuss investment projects and economic development with officials from the least advanced states, the PAP news agency reported.

Szczerski said that the Polish president’s appearance in Doha would be “extremely important,” enabling Duda to discuss the war in Ukraine and its consequences.

Countering Russian disinformation

Szczerski told PAP: “The Doha conference is taking place against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine. As we know, today the least developed countries are the targets of Russian propaganda and disinformation.”

He added: “The conference gives President Duda the chance to present the Polish point of view and make our case, as well as talk about political issues in the context of Russian aggression.”

The Polish diplomat emphasised “the negative impact of the war on the situation throughout the world, all the more so when it comes to the fate of the 46 least developed countries, mainly from Africa, faraway Asia and the Pacific region,” the PAP news agency reported.

Szczerski said the Russian invasion of Ukraine “has negative repercussions on the food and energy markets, among other markets, at a time when these countries are the targets of a very intensive diplomatic drive and disinformation campaign by Russia.”

He added that Russia was “competing fiercely” for influence over these countries with other “world superpowers” because "many LDC states have enormous economic potential and natural resources.”  

Potential for cooperation between Poland and least developed countries

Szczerski told PAP that the Doha conference was also “immensely important” because “Poland, as an honest and open partner, without a hidden agenda, or any colonial and historic baggage, will be able to offer the least developed countries its experience of economic transition and its investment potential.”

Poland bidding for seat on UN Economic and Social Council

The event in Qatar comes as Poland vies for a seat on the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Szczerski said.

He added: “For President Duda, the appearance at the Doha forum presents an opportunity to conduct a campaign to demonstrate that Poland is familiar with the problems of the least developed countries. And so it is part of promoting the Polish candidacy for membership of the ECOSOC.”

The event in Qatar is expected to adopt a so-called Doha Program of Action, outlining global, UN-backed efforts to support progress in the least developed countries over the next decade, Szczerski told PAP.  

Friday is day 373 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: PAP, un.org