Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU priorities at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly

21/12/2017 - 14:26

The EU priorities at the United Nations and the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (September 2017 – September 2018), as adopted by the Council at its 3557th meeting held on 17 July 2017. The key EU priority will be to uphold, strengthen and reform the UN and the rules based global order. For the 72nd UNGA, the EU will focus on a stronger global governance, on peace and conflict prevention and on an enduring agenda for transformation. Gender equality and women’s empowerment as well as women, peace and security will be mainstreamed into all three priority areas.

72nd UNGA stronger global governance priority


The EU is committed to the principles of the UN Charter, which seek to ensure peace, human rights, sustainable development and fair access to the earth’s shared resources.

In order to help provide stronger global governance, the EU will help drive reform of the UN, particularly in three areas:

  • peace and security
  • development
  • management and reform.

The EU and its member countries will encourage the international community to help with the process of change. They will use their political and diplomatic influence to build a coalition of support for UN reform rather than simply preserving the existing system.


72nd UNGA peace and conflict priority


The EU realises there is a pressing need to invest in conflict prevention and help in peacekeeping processes across the world. Efforts will therefore be made to strengthen the EU-UN partnership on a range issues, including:

  • countering terrorism
  • protecting civilians in areas of conflict
  • responding to crises in places like Syria, Libya and Yemen
  • implementing resolutions on disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The EU will also step up its engagement with the UN’s Youth, Peace and Security agenda. In addition, the EU aims to foster the role women play in peace processes and mediation. To that end, it will continue to support the UN’s Women's Peace and Security agenda.

More broadly, the EU will encourage an environment where civil society organisations can participate in the work of the UN.


72nd UNGA enduring agenda for transformation

The EU is committed to making progress in a number of complementary areas that affect the entire world, including:

  • nurturing sustainable development
  • ensuring greater peace and security
  • strengthening the rules-based international system.

Through the lifespan of the 72nd UNGA, there will be a particular focus on a number of topics:


The EU wants to help the continent realise its full potential, and a common plan for this is provided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Moving forward, the aim is to deepen the partnership by building on the Joint Africa-EU Strategy.

Human Rights and Humanitarian principles

The EU strongly supports the UN Human Rights system and will continue to draw attention to violations and abuses. It will remain actively engaged in the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and the Third Committee of the General Assembly.

In addition, the EU will continue to support the UN’s central, coordinating role in responding to humanitarian crises.

Sustainable development

The EU will play a leading role in promoting the 2030 Agenda through its external and other relevant policies. In this context, the EU and its member countries recently agreed a new vision called the European Consensus on Development.

The EU is also committed to driving a collective, international approach to deal with other pressing global issues, including:

  • helping migrants and refugees
  • combating climate change
  • improving governance of the world’s oceans.


Read Statements and Speeches of UNGA72


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