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I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
I would like to thank the PGA for convening this important meeting today as well as the lunch meeting yesterday, which I understand was a very productive session.
Let me start with two observations: First, these are challenging times for supporters of the rules-based international order, The second – as a positive side-effect – being that there has neither ever been more attention given to the state of multilateralism. Last year's General Debate showed overwhelming support for not only maintaining but further strengthening the multilateral system.
Occasions like the one today and tomorrow and even more so next year's 75th Anniversary of the UN offer a huge opportunity to engage our citizens on shaping collectively multilateralism - with the United Nations as its cornerstone – that delivers to all. To ensure that no one is being left behind as the Secretary General put it at many occasions.
The EU and its Member States see no alternative to a functioning rules-based international order with a revitalized UN as its core. The EU and the UN have been and will remain the champions of dialogue, cooperation and multilateral diplomacy: Because the benefits clearly outweigh the cost of forging a compromise.
International agreements like the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Climate accord, or the Iran nuclear deal all demonstrate collective leadership, vision and ambition and deserve our continued support.
Europe’s commitment to multilateralism is derived from our values and the strong conviction that today's global challenges can only be tackled collectively. That's why we will continue to invest in a strong UN system based on the ideals of the UN Charter. Only together can we have a real impact in ensuring sustainable development, peace and security, and the universal promotion and protection of human rights. Only together can we live up to our commitments of sustaining peace, fighting climate change, achieving gender equality and education for all, and to leaving no one behind – to only name a few.
The upcoming Climate and SDG Summits will be opportunities to turn our commitments into action. As the SG said repeatedly, we need to step up collectively if we do not want to fall short on our ambitions – be it on Climate or on the 2030 Agenda. The delivery on our common priorities will define the credibility of this institution and all of us.
An effective multilateralism needs a strong UN that is equipped with the tools to address current and future challenges. That is why we have strongly supported and will continue to support the SG's reform efforts in making this organisation more efficient, more representative and more flexible. These efforts have already bourn positive results. In this context, we would also like to emphasize the importance of multilingualism - a core value of both the UN and the EU.
This said, we must not be complacent but look ahead and put this organisation in a position to be able to adequately respond to any complex crises and challenge that might arise in the future.
The EU and its Member States will continue to contribute our fair share to the organisation, as we have done in the past, so it can continue to play its role as the backbone of the multilateral system. The amount and complexity of crises and challenges will only grow further in the future.
Next year's 75th Anniversary is a unique opportunity to showcase to our citizens – and our young generation in particular - the benefits of multilateralism and why it remains relevant for their daily life. We must use the opportunity to engage young people from across the globe towards collectively forging a multilateralism for the future.
We should all cherish this organisation and multilateralism – not only on its "International Day", but every day. Thank you for your attention.