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Today we celebrate United Nations Day, which marks the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. This year's 73rdanniversary comes at a crucial moment. Now, more than ever, multilateralism and the rules-based international order are challenged. And now, more than ever, our partners are looking to the European Union to stand up exactly for multilateralism and the rules-based international order with a strong United Nations at its core: as European Union, we are determined to preserve it.
Investing in our partnership with the UN is natural as we share the same fundamental values and goals. Together, we join forces in our work around the world and in Europe, for sustainable development, peace and security, and humanely and respectfully managed migration. And together we fight for education for all, gender equality and human rights.
UN Day comes one month after the UN General Assembly ministerial week, which demonstrated this year that despite all the challenges, there is momentum for collective action in support of multilateralism and that multilateralism put to action is working.
For this reason, the EU and the UN agreed to further strengthen their partnership on peace operations and crisis management, and development. Together, we are supporting political processes to bring back peace in areas of conflict, from Syria to Libya. Together, we are working to stabilise war-torn countries, from Afghanistan to the Central African Republic. Together, we are assisting and protecting refugees and migrants in Libya and the Sub-Saharan region, in a cooperation that has paved the way to a new trilateral partnership with the African Union to fight human trafficking and smuggling. Together, we are building on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to protect human rights wherever they are at risk, as it is too often the case for women and girls: to protect them, we have set up the Spotlight Initiative which is now in its second year.
Together, the EU and UN have been, are and will be the strongest champions of dialogue and cooperation. This is why we will continue to defend multilateral diplomacy and its achievements, from the Iran nuclear deal to the Paris agreement on climate change, and to support the essential work of all UN agencies.
International rules, organisations and jurisdictions are a guarantee for all. That's why we will always continue to invest in a strong UN system. Together – as we celebrate UN Day – we will stay a force for change.
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