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Biodiversity is the root of all life, both on land and below water. It has an impact on human health, providing the air that we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, natural disease resistance, medicines, as well as climate change mitigation. The emergence of COVID-19 has proved that when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. Nature is sending us a message. Aptly, this year’s theme for World Environment Day is biodiversity – a concern that is both urgent and existential. Protecting nature and reversing degradation to ecosystems is at the heart of the EU Green Deal and is the rationale for the new EU biodiversity strategy for 2030.

If there is one thing that 27 EU member states agree on it is that we all believe in rules-based multilateralism. We repeat, almost mantra like, that we want a strong UN as the beating heart of the multilateral system. The Security Council is the world’s highest multilateral authority and it has the last word on matters of peace and security. I was very pleased to address the Security Council on the EU-UN cooperation (see here) and to express the EU’s strong support for the UN’s work, with concrete contributions in many areas and especially on peace and security.

United Nations Security Council: Opening remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell on the cooperation between the United Nations and regional organisations on the maintenance of international peace and security

On 28 May, EU High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell will address the UN Security Council on the EU’s role in the preservation of international peace and security at the invitation of Estonia, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council this month. The High Representative/Vice-President’s address will start at 16:00, Brussels time (10:00, New York time). You can follow the speech live here. A transcript of the speech will be available after.

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The European Union and the United Nations are natural partners.
We are the world’s leading proponents and defenders of a multilateral and rules-based global governance system. Together, we respond to global crises, threats and challenges which cannot be addressed by individual nations acting alone, and require cooperation and coordination based on universal values and rules.

On the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, we celebrate cultural diversity in the European Union and underline its importance in fostering dialogue and respect between people all around the world. Europe is a mosaic of diversity shaped by centuries of exchanges between different nations, languages and cultures.  

We welcome the World Health Assembly’s adoption by consensus of the resolution initiated by the European Union and its Member States on the importance of a collective response to the coronavirus pandemic. The 195 Member States of the World Health Organisation (WHO) have convened at the Assembly in unprecedented times, showing their determination to defeat the virus through collective, global action.

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“The coronavirus pandemic is impacting every country and region of the world and every aspect of our lives. The pandemic and its socio-economic consequences are having a disproportionate impact on the rights of persons with disabilities such as in terms of equal access to health care, support services, and education.

As May 17 marks the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the European Union pays tribute to human diversity in all its richness, and the right of every human person to be proud of who they are, to define their own identity and to choose to be with the ones they love. Once again the EU buildings are lit up in rainbow colours. This year, this colourful icon of optimism is two-fold as it is also being used as a symbol of hope and support during the Covid-19 crisis, which has increased the vulnerability of LGBTI+ persons as victims of hostilities, including being forced to move back into unsafe domestic spaces.

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