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Today, we celebrate the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace. As we tackle the biggest global health crisis of our generation, the European Union reaffirms its longstanding commitment to international cooperation and to the rules-based international order, with the United Nations at its core.
The coronavirus pandemic reminds us how interconnected we are and how crucial multilateral cooperation is.
To win the battle against a virus that knows no borders, there is no other option than to join efforts to find global solutions.
Multilateralism is the only effective way to face a threat with which no country can cope on its own and which affects us all. Nobody will be safe in any country as long as the pandemic rages in different parts of the world.
Today is an opportunity to express our appreciation for the work of the United Nations in responding to the crisis. As hunger is growing in the world due to the measures to respond to the pandemic, the work of the World Food Programme to deliver life-saving food assistance is essential.
And, of course, the World Health Organisation plays also a critical role in containing the spread of the virus. The European Union will continue to support this work, financially as well. Collectively, the European Union and its Member States are the largest donor to the World Health Organization. In 2019, the European Union institutions alone provided €146 million in funding and we have already committed €114 million to the United Nations Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan led by the World Health Organization for countries with weak health systems.
Today is the International Day of Multilateralism and also of Diplomacy for Peace. And indeed, conflict prevention and resolution is at the heart of multilateralism. The European Union echoes and supports the call by the United Nations Secretary General for a global ceasefire. Today more than ever, it is time for all those involved in armed conflicts anywhere in the world to put down their arms and to engage in genuine efforts to find political solutions. And the European Union is ready to support those efforts.
There is no doubt that the world that will emerge from this crisis will look very different from the one we know but we do not know what will these differences be. It will depend on what we are going to do now.
So, let us use this opportunity to make sure that we shape a better version of the world tomorrow, a world where we reinforce multilateralism, not isolationism. A world that embraces the richness of our diversity and protects our citizens and our planet.
This crisis has reconfirmed that multilateral cooperation is the only path. And it is our collective responsibility to work together to this end for future generations. We owe it to the victims of the coronavirus.