Ambassador's Welcome Word
I am honoured and very happy to address you as I take up my post as Head of Delegation here in Geneva. Our Delegation is active across a wide range of issues ranging from Human Rights, Disarmament, Trade and Development to humanitarian assistance, migration and asylum, health and labour issues, intellectual property and the environment.
The EU's work in Geneva has two main aspects.
It is our firm ambition to contribute to effective multilateralism. The EU is acutely aware of its role and obligations as a member of the international community. We do our utmost to be part of seeking global solutions to global problems, and engage in the strengthening of the UN system to improve its ability to face the challenges of a changing world.
We do this across the three key pillars of the United Nations. In the area of peace and security, the EU seeks to tackle threats early on, putting great emphasis on mediation and conflict prevention. We put a high priority on protection of civilians and actively promote human rights. We support global sustainable development in all its dimensions – economic, social, and environmental.
Our action on the international scene is guided by the very principles that have inspired the creation of the European Union itself: democracy, the rule of law, the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and respect for the United Nations Charter and international law. We seek to promote and advance these principles in the wider world and within the international fora here in Geneva.
Second, we strive to play our part in promoting the interests of the EU and its 510 million citizens. Many of the issues discussed across the various bodies in Geneva have very concrete implications for the lives of our citizens, and on our economies. Labour policy, the effects of migration, the environment and innovation are just a few examples. To give the EU a stronger voice on all of these issues, we seek progressively to increase our involvement in the work of the international organisations here in Geneva.
The EU Delegation has also played an important supporting role in facilitating some of the most prominent political processes of the past few years – talks with Iran on the nuclear issue [[conducted by the former EU High Representative/Vice-President Catherine Ashton]]; rounds of negotiations on the Syria peace process; discussions on Ukraine.
All this is achieved first and foremost by effective coordination and cooperation of our Delegation with the EU Member States here in Geneva. Coherence is key, as the world takes notice of a strong message delivered in unison. I meet with all 28 EU Ambassadors on a weekly basis to share insights and discuss how our interests, and the values we stand for, can be best promoted.
I also value highly the input of non-governmental organisations and wider civil society: the contribution they can make to the policy process is immense and our engagement is mutually beneficial. I firmly believe that our exchanges will improve decision-making.
I am looking forward to engaging with our international partners on all the issues before us, and hope that during my tenure I will, together with all the colleagues in the Delegation, continue to enhance the EU's contribution to the work of all the international organisations based in Geneva.
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Enjoy your visit!
Ambassador Peter Sørensen