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

EU Statement – United Nations General Assembly: Informal interactive dialogue with the candidate for the position of Secretary-General

New York, 07/05/2021 - 20:37, UNIQUE ID: 210507_37
Statements on behalf of the EU

7 May 2021, New York – European Union Statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Olof Skoog, Head of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations, at the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly Informal interactive dialogue with the candidate for the position of Secretary-General

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Mr. President of the General Assembly, we would like to thank you for organizing this informal interactive dialogue with the candidate to Secretary-General for the mandate beginning in 2022.

 

Thank you, Mr Secretary-General, for your readiness to participate in this informal dialogue with the membership, which is an important element in ensuring an inclusive and transparent selection process for the highest office.

 

The EU and its Member States welcomed your candidacy for a second term and we appreciate your very detailed vision statement shared in writing and just presented to us very eloquently.

 

We fully share the priorities you outlined for what would certainly be another very challenging tacerm to navigate this organisation through safe water as you have capably done through your first term so far.

 

You mentioned that “we are in one of the most important transformational moments in recent history” – but also that here is “window of opportunity” to do things right.

 

Starting with the response to the Covid19 and ensuring a sustainable recovery as a pressing challenge. The EU supports a strengthened UN role in pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, including through reform of COVAX and WHO. What would be necessary adjustments to better prevent and protect against pandemics?

 

We fully support your call for urgent action and redoubling of our efforts to address climate change and the loss of biodiversity. Climate neutrality by 2050 is key to delivery. How would you take these priorities to the next level?

 

The mandate of the next SG will also be crucial in terms of SDG implementation: How would you make sure that the SDGs remain the guide of policy-making at all levels?

 

You also note that the need for a new approach and quantum leap in financial support for an inclusive and sustainable recovery to make the Agenda 2030 a reality. The FFD process has generated useful discussions and proposals. How do you see the next steps?

 

Your Digital Roadmap paved the way for multi-stakeholder engagement on critical issues, including bridging the digital divide. We welcome your intention of convening all stakeholders through a strengthened Internet Governance Forum to ensure robust implementation of the roadmap.

 

You have put a strong emphasis on prevention, which we strongly support. The UN75 Declaration calls upon the SG to “enhance his prevention toolbox”. How could this look in practice?  You also offered to continue your role of an “honest broker and bridge –builder”, including through your good offices. In your view, is there more that could be done?

 

We welcome your engagement to put human rights front and centre of all UN Action. As one of the pillars of the Charter, this is a fundamental task of the organisation. What further initiatives do you envisage to operationalise your Call to action? We strongly support your call for a funding strategy for the international human rights system. What are the next steps?

 

Gender Equality has been a key element of your first mandate, with important achievements, such as the realisation of gender parity for leadership positions in a record time. How will you ensure that gender equality is promoted across all UN efforts, including policies and programmes, in a second term?

 

To remain legitimate, the UN must remain ‘fit for purpose’ to tackle the global challenges of today and tomorrow. Your reform efforts represented a real paradigm shift in this regard and you have our continued support. While we need to consolidate gains, we support your calls for “deeper and broader transformation”- for a more integrated, cohesive and joined up UN 2.0. We very much look forward to your report and ask you to be ambitions and bold in your recommendations.

 

You put a strong emphasis on the need for a more ‘inclusive and networked multilateralism’. We welcome the specific tracks in the ‘Common Agenda’ process for CSO and youth engagement. How do you intend to contribute further to the realisation of CSO and youth engagement in your 2nd mandate? We would also be interested in your vision of linking global institutions across sectors and geographies.

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