30th Nov 2023


Live on EUobserver: UN and the Nordics discuss Covid-19

  • The Nordic countries have chosen very different strategies to combat the pandemic (Photo: Nordic Council of Ministers)

UN secretary general, António Guterres, meets with the Nordic Council today (Tuesday 27 October) to share his thoughts on the Covid-19 crisis.

Nordic prime ministers and heads of government will also join the online meeting, which will discuss the pandemic from both a Nordic and a global perspective. The event will be streamed live online by EUobserver.

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  • UN secretary general, António Guterres, meets with the Nordic Council today (Tuesday 27 October) sharing his thoughts on the Covid-19 crisis (Photo: Nordic Council of Ministers)

The meeting with Guterres forms part of the Nordic Council's Session Week 2020, a series of events held at the time when the Nordic Council would normally have held its annual session.

Due to the pandemic, the actual gathering has been postponed and all meetings will be online.

The theme of the meeting with the UN secretary general will be the Covid-19 crisis and the challenges the pandemic poses for the global community. Guterres will make a speech outlining his perspective on the pandemic, after which the Nordic Council party groups will have the opportunity to pose questions directly to him.

Crisis calls for cooperation

The president of the Nordic Council, Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, is looking forward to the meeting.

"We will bid the UN secretary general a warm welcome to the Nordic Council Session Week. It will be absolutely fascinating to hear what António Guterres has to say about international efforts to combat Covid-19.

"It is not a struggle that any of us can win on our own. We all need to work together, both at Nordic and global level. We want the United Nations to play a leading role in international crises. The Nordic Region is a great supporter of the international rule of law and a strong UN," Gunnarsdóttir said.

Guterres has been invited to take part in the Nordic Council Session Week 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of the UN.

The invitation was extended by Katrín Jakobsdóttir, prime minister of Iceland, plus Gunnarsdóttir, as president of the Nordic Council. Iceland holds the presidency of the Nordic Council this year.

Watch live online

During the 90-minute meeting, the Nordic Council, prime ministers and heads of government will also discuss Covid-19 from a Nordic perspective. This will be the first time that Nordic MPs and prime ministers have debated the pandemic together.

The Nordic countries have chosen different strategies to combat the pandemic, which has led to phenomena such as border controls and restrictions on freedom of movement in the Nordics - a freedom that lies at the very heart of Nordic cooperation.

The entire meeting will be livestreamed by EUobserver, 18:00–19:30 (CET), today (Tuesday, 27 October), viewable at the top of this article.

The first 45 minutes will be in English with interpretation into the Scandinavian languages, Finnish and Icelandic. The final 45 minutes will be held in the Scandinavian languages, Finnish and Icelandic with interpretation into English.

Author bio

Matts Lindqvist is senior adviser to the Nordic Council, the official body for Nordic inter-parliamentary cooperation. The Nordic Council has 87 members from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the Åland islands.


This article is sponsored by a third party. All opinions in this article reflect the views of the author and not of EUobserver.

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