President Duda to chair Thursday UN Security Council open debate

Polish President Andrzej Duda will start a four-day visit to the US on Wednesday during which he will chair a UN Security Council open debate on the role of international law in maintaining international peace and security.

During the meeting President Duda is scheduled to deliver a speech. “It will include numerous issues important for Poles," revealed the Head of the President's Office, Krzysztof Szczerski.

Minister Szczerski stated that some 100 countries have signed up to take part in the debate, adding that this "really will be a large gathering." "The president will also take advantage of every opportunity to hold talks on other important issues related to security, peace and about what is most important for Poland - stability in our part of the world."

Following the Thursday debate, President Duda will meet with media representatives.

Poland assumed its non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council on January 1, 2018. Its term of office will end in late December 2019. Poland's rotating presidency of the UN Security Council started on Tuesday, May 1. For the second time, Poland is likely to preside over the UN Security Council in the second half of next year.

Szczerski added that President Duda decided that while in New York he will lay flowers at the Katyń Monument in Jersey City. The ceremony is planned for Wednesday. City authorities and the local Polish diaspora reached a consensus on Monday around the location of a memorial to the 1940 Katyń Forest Massacre, in which the Soviets mass-executed around 22,000 Polish POWs. The conflict around the memorial arose when city authorities announced its temporary removal from its site near the Hudson River in connection with plans to develop a park on the site. Hefty protests against moving the monument came from the city's large Polish community, as well as from Warsaw.

On the same day, Duda is also scheduled to visit the Archives of the Polish Army Veterans Association of America and meet with representatives of Jewish organisations and representatives of the UN Eastern European Group.

The agenda of the president's Friday visit to Chicago includes a meeting with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, a visit to the Polish Museum of America and the laying of flowers at the Katyń Monument and the Smoleńsk Plaque at a local cemetery. The president is also to meet with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and visit a base of the Illinois National Guard.

On Saturday, the president is scheduled to meet in Chicago with representatives of Polish circles in the US.