Delegation of the European Union to Russia

EU agenda for a renewed multilateralism

18/02/2021 - 12:45
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In today’s world marked by major geopolitical and economic power shifts, multilateralism is the most effective mean to govern global relations in a way that benefits all. Growing global challenges, such as COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, conflicts and extreme poverty in many parts of the world, make all too evident the need for multilateral cooperation grounded on basic principles of international law and universal values.

In light of these challenges and opportunities, the European Commission and the High Representative are putting forward a set of policy proposals for a new multilateral agenda to deliver for all in today’s complex world.

“Multilateralism matters because it works. But we cannot be ‘multilateralists’ alone. At a time of growing scepticism, we must demonstrate the benefit and relevance of the multilateral system”, said the HRVP Josep Borrell.

What the EU wants

  • Work for a renewed rules-based multilateralism fit for the 21st century that serves global governance as well as EU and global interests and values.
  • Defend universal values and international law, including human rights, and promote global agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement.
  • Make the most out of its political, diplomatic, and economic leverage.
  • Promote reform, effectiveness and efficiency of the multilateral system and a truly inclusive multilateralism where governments, civil society, the private sector, academia and other stakeholders work together.
  • Step up EU leadership and make better use the ability to act as a convenor, honest broker and bridge-builder.
  • Deepen partnerships and alliances with third countries, multilateral and regional organisations, and reinforce coalitions on key priorities.
  • Be the best ally of multilateral partners, but demand transformation and truly strategic relationships.
  • Ensure greater consistency between multilateral and bilateral diplomacy.
  • Act together with Member States to deliver with one voice.

What the EU will do to achieve it

Promote and defend human rights, make the world a safer place to live

  • Prevent and end conflicts
  • Uphold universal norms and values, democracy and human rights for all
  • Protect human rights defenders, ensure civil society has a strong voice

The EU puts its full weight behind the UN Secretary General’s call for a global ceasefire and reinforced support for peace processes around the world.

The EU supports the implementation of the UN Secretary General “Call for Action” to advance and protect the human rights of all human beings.

Ensure universal access to COVID-19 vaccines

  • Boost funding for research, production and delivery of safe vaccines worldwide
  • Ensure that vaccines are accessible in all countries
  • Strengthen the global health system

The EU and its Member States have committed more than EUR 850 million to COVAX to purchase and deliver vaccines to low and middle-income countries, as part of the collective objective to buy 2 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021.

The EU is leading the WHO reform in Geneva to reinforce its international preparedness and response capacity to health emergencies.

Strengthen global recovery and tackle inequalities

  • Respond to the pandemic’s socio-economic impacts leaving no one behind
  • Build just and inclusive societies, place women at the center
  • Boost economic growth and jobs

“Team Europe” approach has mobilised around EUR 38.5 billion to support the most vulnerable in the fight against the pandemic and its socio-economic consequences.

The EU has proposed a Global Recovery Initiative linking investment and debt relief to the 2030 Agenda to secure a truly transformative, post-COVID-19 path.

Win the race against climate change and restore our relationship with nature

  • Achieve climate neutrality by mid-century
  • Prevent biodiversity loss
  • Preserve ecosystems and natural resources

The EU will be climate neutral in 2050 in line with the ambition set out in the European Green Deal.

The EU is encouraging others to raise their climate ambitions, meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement and other agreements such as the Convention on Biodiversity.

Establish global rules for new digital technologies

  • Support the development of normative frameworks for Artificial Intelligence
  • Promote the protection of personal data
  • Protect human rights online

The EU will continue to build strategic partnerships to shape the global digital agenda.

The EU supports the UN Secretary General’s Roadmap on Digital Cooperation.

Modernise global institutions

  • Reinvigorate the United Nations to address effectively the challenges of the 21st century
  • Lead the reform of other international institutions, such as the World Trade Organisation

The EU will continue engaging actively in the reflection process in the follow-up to the UN75 declaration, to support efforts to reinvigorate an effective and inclusive multilateralism.

The EU has provided €30 million for the UN’s 2030 Agenda Fund to support the Development System reform and will pay €27 million to the UN Special Purpose Trust Fund over three years.

Build Partnerships and Alliances

  • Boost the EU’s relationship with the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
  • Cooperate with like-minded partners to defend universal principles and international rules-based order
  • Promote targeted issue-based cooperation and common initiatives

The International Platform on Sustainable Finance, initialled by the EU and other partners already regroups over half of global C02 emitters and key international institutions.

The EU is shaping innovative new formats and coalitions for inclusive multilateralism engaging with civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders, such as the Paris Peace Forum and the Finance in Common Summit.

More information

A renewed multilateralism fit for the 21st century: the EU's agenda

HRVP blog: Building multilateralism for the 21st Century