European Union External Action

un75, 75 anniversary un, eu-un cooperation

The EU commemorates 75 years of the UN

The year 2020 marks a a special anniversary for the United Nations: 75 years from the signing of the UN Charter in San Francisco.

In 1945, soon after the end of the Second World War, nations worldwide decided to change the course of history and took the commitment to work together for peace. And this is the same path that the European Union chose to follow only a few years later.

In the last decades, the EU and the UN have been working hand in hand for peace, dialogue, and cooperation. Whether individually or together, they both promote Human Rights, the rule of law, sustainable development, and fighting climate change. They also support negotiated diplomatic solutions to conflicts as well as security and stabilisation through their military and civilian missions. The EU is also committed to preserving and strengthening multilateral relations with its partners across the globe, with the United Nations at its core.

The Covid-19 pandemic is once again showing how global challenges can be tackled and overcome only through global, coordinated action.

The European Union has and always will be in support of cooperation - The European Union has and always will be in support of the United Nations.

 

Our Messages

HRVP Borrell UN 75

26/06/2020 - On the anniversary of the UN Charter signature in San Francisco in 1945, HR/VP Borrell congratulates the UN, and the EU’s commitment to the UN system and multilateralism

EU wishes UN a Happy 75th Birthday

75th United Nations General Assembly

This year, leaders from around the world are convening virtually for the 75th UN General Assembly. This annual gathering features hundreds of events throughout September where world leaders discuss some of the biggest global challenges – from public health to climate change to human rights – and drive progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals for a more equitable global future.

 

 

For more information, visit the official UN General Assembly website.

#BeTheWave is a new social media initiative that asks young people around the world to think global and act local. The campaign challenges users to make small, climate-friendly changes in their daily lives, share their achievements on Instagram, and inspire their friends and followers to do the same. In doing so, #BeTheWave will show how even the simplest action can grow from a ripple into a wave of global change. Through this campaign the EU further contributes to the implementation of climate-related Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. And this happens during a very special year: the 75th anniversary of the UN.

1 October 2020, New York - Statement by H.E. Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, at the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the 4th World Conference on Women

biodiversity

Biodiversity and Nature are essential for all life on the planet. Biodiversity plays a critical role for sustainable development and human well-being. Biodiversity can also reinforce peace when putting in place inclusive management of natural resources, respecting indigenous rights, combatting wildlife trafficking or promoting international dialogue around shared resources. In one of his first speeches as EU High Representative, Josep Borrell had stressed that "Today, land and natural resources management is one of the most critical challenges the world is facing."

The Generation Equality Forum called for immediate response to the emerging evidence that multiple forms of gender-based violence, in particular intimate partner violence, have intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. The EU is committed to tackle this problem.

Nations around the world gathered virtually for the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations. This historical gathering comes at a time when we are facing global challenges and global responses are difficult to find. The EU calls for a reform of multilateralism by design and not by destruction: “We must revitalize the system, not abandon it. So, this week and beyond, we will uphold the spirit of the UNGA and defend multilateralism, which all countries so badly need. A world without the UN would endanger us all.” stated High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell.

UNGA EU-UN

I wish to thank Minister Luigi Di Maio, Minister Mamadou Tangara, Amnesty International as well as the Office of High Commissioner and UN-Women for organising today’s meeting and for the honour to speak here. I am here representing the HRVP of the EU, Josep Borrell, who has asked me to express the EU’s support for this important initiative and the event.

UNGA EU-UN

I speak to you today on behalf of the European Union. A Union founded, like the United Nations, on peaceful cooperation, human rights and fundamental freedoms. We are therefore an unwavering supporter of the United Nations. And of the international organisations to which we join forces for human progress.

EU-UN, UNGA

In any normal year, I would be in New York City now for the annual opening of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The event represents the greatest concentration of global policymakers in one place and is the high point on the diplomatic calendar. But this year is far from normal, and “UNGA week” is going virtual with events held online – a familiar format for us all in recent months.

eu-unicef, children, education

On 23 September the EU hosted a #Backpack2School installation by UNICEF ‘Sending out an SOS’, in the heart of the European Quarters in Brussels, as part of a global public initiative on education around the world. EU High Representative Josep Borrell inaugurated the event in Brussels together with Commissioner Dubravka Šuica, UNICEF Director Sandie Blanchet, and local youth activist Quinten. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, this is an urgent call for world leaders to act and safeguard the future of our children. "These 200 blue packs writing an SOS here in the streets of Belgium, in Brussels, are here to remind us, the whole world, that hundreds of millions of children are still waiting to put on their school bags again, to receive the education that will determine their future," said Borrell.

EUatUNGA75 opening

The 75th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations was opened by the new President of the General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, on 15 September, with the High-Level Week beginning in a virtual format on Monday, 21 September.

UNGA EU-UN

Speech by the High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell at the UNited for a New, Fair and Inclusive Multilateralism online International Conference.

UNGA EU-UN

The EU and the UN have a successful track record of close cooperation in crisis management around the world, dating back to the beginning of EU CSDP missions and operations. It is no coincidence that in 2003, when the EU deployed its first civilian and military operation, a Joint Declaration on EU-UN-Cooperation in Crisis Management was issued. Since then, many steps have been taken to reinforce the strategic partnership.

UNGA EU-UN

Cooperation between the EU and the UN system, including the UN Secretariat and the various UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes, spans across all policy areas.

UNGA EU-UN

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.

UNGA75 Priorities compact

13 July 2020, Brussels - The Council today adopted conclusions setting out the EU's priorities at the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations (September 2020 – September 2021), under the theme "Championing multilateralism and a strong and effective UN that delivers for all".

UNGA EU-UN

EU High Representative/Vice-President, Josep Borrell, held a phone call with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, on 10 September 2020.

UNGA EU-UN

The EU congratulates Volkan Bozkir on his election as the 75th President of the UN General Assembly and India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway on their election as non-permanent members to the UN Security Council.

International Day Stories

Poverty is a calamity that affects millions of lives and has to be overcome in our days. For the EU, the eradication of poverty has been a key priority in its external action. Support provided by the EU has contributed to a global positive trend to put an end to the phenomenon. The global pandemic is challenging this trend. On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, it is time to reflect on how societies must come together to combat poverty across the globe.

The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of controlling the risks that they face. Good disaster risk governance can be measured in lives saved, reduced numbers of disaster-affected people and reduced economic losses. Both COVID-19 and the climate emergency are telling us that we need a clear vision and action based on scientific evidence for the public good.

The EU has been battling for the implementation and respect for human rights, and the global abolition
of death penalty remains a prominent priority. We celebrate the European and World Day against Death
Penalty by reaffirming our strong stand against capital punishment.

The world has awakened to a different reality this year: we are facing the most challenging health crisis of our generation. In some parts of the world, the battle goes beyond hospitals and labs. There are those also fighting on the ground with arms. No country can afford two wars at the same time and on the International Day of Peace, the EU echoes the call of the United Nations General Secretary for a global cease-fire.

‘Our ocean starts with you!’ was the theme for the 2020 digital edition of the #EUBeachCleanUp, as the campaign took to social media reminding us that ocean protection begins at home. For the past month up until World Coastal Cleanup day, people across the globe took on challenges to clean their neighbourhood, shop for less packaging, reduce water consumption, and sort waste. EU High Representative Josep Borrell praised these actions saying “Even the smallest actions from home can have an impact on our oceans. #EUBeachCleanUp is a great individual and collective action of volunteers around the world to keep beaches clean and protect marine life.”

On International Day of Democracy, the EU reaffirms its willingness to take a leadership role on democracy, working ever harder in supporting those who defend it, build it and hold decision makers accountable in these difficult times

Clean air is essential to our health and to the environment. Since the industrial revolution, the quality of the air we breathe has deteriorated considerably. The human toll for poor air quality is worse than for road traffic accidents. Air pollution is the single greatest environmental risk to human health: around 6,5 million premature deaths across the world are due to air pollution. Particularly in developing countries, air pollution disproportionately affects women, children and old people.

Expressing one’s faith should not be accompanied by acts of violence in any part of the world. Intolerance towards different religions or faiths still drives to conflict, violating Human Rights. On the International Day commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief, the EU pays tribute to all the victims.

Indigenous Peoples have been socially, economically, politically and judicially excluded for centuries. The unbalance puts them at a greater risk in the current challenging international landscape. On the Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the EU extends its solidarity to all indigenous peoples. The EU is acting on the ground to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and calls for global efforts to protect indigenous peoples.

We are celebrating the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, raising awareness for an issue many times invisible, but still present in our societies. The EU has been working on the prevention and fight against human trafficking through its actions on the ground and through the collaboration at local and international levels.

Even at this time of global pandemic, crimes against humanity and war crimes continue to be perpetrated. The EU reiterates its commitment to uphold and defend the principles and values enshrined in the Rome Statute and to support the ICC

A faster and solid recovery relies on the empowerment of the youth. As the entire world suffers from the Covid-19 pandemic, developing regions are more exposed to its consequences. On the World Youth Skills Day, the EU acknowledges the importance of upskilling the youth to build a more prosperous future for all.

victims of torture, un observances, international day

Torture denies the dignity of the human being. Its victims suffer both visible and invisible wounds. And this is still the horrifying reality today. On International Day in support of Victims of Torture, EU High Representative Josep Borrrell states “At a time when the world is joining efforts to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, human rights must remain at the core of our battle. On this day, we give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.”

Vulnerable populations, including refugees, are at the heart of the Team Europe response to the COVID-19 crisis. On World Refugee Day 2020, the EU reaffirms its commitment to a world where nobody would need asylum

International day against sexual violence in conflict

On the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the UN and the EU join their voices to call on the international community to accelerate its action to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence: “We re-commit to working together to prevent conflict-related sexual violence, to protect its victims, to end impunity for its perpetrators and to guarantee access to justice, reparations and redress for survivors,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell and UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten said in a joint statement.

Object of beliefs and myths for centuries, albino people are often stigmatized and attacked around the world. The EU condemns such acts of violence or discrimination.

Child Labour

Child labour affects 152 million children worldwide. The EU has been working with UNICEF and other partners to put an end to a phenomenon that takes childhood away and puts the future of millions of kids worldwide at risk. Earlier this week, EU High Representative Josep Borrell and UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, held a phone call during which they discussed ways to continue working together to fight the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, and agreed to jointly promote the education of children, including digital learning as a priority. “School is the most important equality producer in the world,” Borrell said. One of last year’s themes for the joint EU-UNICEF #TheRealChallenge social media campaign was child labour.

world oceans day, biodiversity, underwater

Oceans have a major role in our everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe. Oceans are a major source of food and medicine and a critical part of the biosphere. Healthy oceans are a prerequisite for our own health and for that of our planet. The new EU Biodiversity Strategy therefore puts a strong emphasis on the protection of the ocean. On World Oceans Day we mark the importance of the ocean and celebrate together both its wealth and its beauty.

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.

©Flickr/UNMISS

On International Day of UN Peacekeepers we pay tribute to the invaluable work of peacekeepers and honour those who have lost their lives while on duty. The EU works closely with the UN on peacekeeping and civilian, police and military crisis management, to enhance security both inside and outside the EU. The EU and the UN also aim to increase participation of women in peace operations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges and threats faced by peacekeepers are even greater than ever, as they are not only having to cope with the pandemic, but also with supporting and protecting the people in the countries they are based in.

No one is safe alone, no one is strong alone; we are stronger together.

world water day, handwashing

World Water Day 2020 is about water and climate change… and human beings. Especially in these difficult times when the whole humanity is tackling the outbreak of Coronavirus, we realise the priceless value of the right to health and to other social and economic rights. We cannot have health without clean water. These are basic human rights, essential to survive, not only for humans but also for the whole planet Earth.

non governmental organisations, volunteers, human rights defenders

World NGO Day is an opportunity to recognise the many remarkable voluntary workers in non-governmental organisations who help other people and societies worlwide, creating positive change and bringing hope.

end female genital mutilation

“It’s all still in my head, where it happened, who held me down, the balcony above me. And how it was all masked by a party with gifts and music.” Mariam, born in Djibouti, recounts her traumatic experience when she was 5 years old. As a young woman she joined a movement to end female genital mutilation in her country and vowed never to do this to her own daughter. However, in Mariam’s absence, her traditionalist mother arranged to have the baby cut and some months later the child died from an infection. The EU is adamant to end this inhumane act of female genital mutilation and supports UNICEF in its educational programmes with UNFPA on women's and children's rights and health risks.

Press Releases

The EU is deeply concerned about today’s announcements and developments related to Varosha.

These will cause greater tensions and may complicate efforts for the resumption of Cyprus settlement talks.

What is urgent now is to rebuild trust and not to create greater divisions. The EU will continue to support such efforts, as stressed by the Heads of State and Government in the European Council conclusions on 1-2 October.

The EU is in close contact with the United Nations and following closely the situation on the ground.

The European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) have a successful track record of close cooperation in crisis management around the world, dating back to the beginning of EU CSDP missions and operations. It is no coincidence that in 2003, when the EU deployed its first civilian and military operation, a Joint Declaration on EU-UN-Cooperation in Crisis Management was issued. Since then, many steps have been taken to reinforce the strategic partnership. Most recently in September 2018, the EU and UN agreed on a new set of forward-looking priorities for cooperation on peace operations and crisis management in 2019-2021.

29 September 2020, New York—The United Nations and the European Union signed an agreement today in the margins of the 75th session of the General Assembly to enhance cooperation and strengthen collective response in peace operations and crisis management.

  1. We the co-leaders of the Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition on Gender Based Violence

 

I speak to you today on behalf of the European Union. A Union founded, like the United Nations, on peaceful cooperation, human rights and fundamental freedoms. We are therefore an unwavering supporter of the United Nations. And of the international organisations to which we join forces for human progress.

Check against delivery!

Today we are launching an SOS for education.

Why? Because more than 1.5 billion students have been affected by school closures.

Do you understand what does it mean? 1.5 billion students without school.

This affects their future and our present. This affects the future of the world, because the future of the world will be built by these young boys and girls deprived of school.

Statement by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, EU Vice-President Dubravka Šuica, and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore on the occasion of Digital Cooperation Action Day at the UN General Assembly, and ahead of the Special European Council on digital transformation. 

BRUSSELS/NEW YORK, 23 September 2020 – As schools remain closed for half the world’s students due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are issuing an S.O.S. message urging countries to prioritise schools in their re-opening plans.

21 September 2020, New York – Speech by Charles Michel, President of the European Council at the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly High-level meeting on the 75th anniversary of the United Nations

Speech by the High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell at the UNited for a New, Fair and Inclusive Multilateralism online International Conference.

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.

EU High Representative/Vice-President, Josep Borrell, held a phone call with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, on 10 September 2020.

A meeting of the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) took place in Vienna on Tuesday 1st September. Under the terms of the JCPOA, the Joint Commission is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreement. The Joint Commission was chaired, on behalf of EU High Representative Josep Borrell, by EEAS Secretary General Helga-Maria Schmid and was attended by representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and Iran at the level of Political Directors/Deputy Foreign Ministers.

The United Nations Security Council adopted on Saturday a much-needed resolution on cross border assistance that is crucial for helping people suffering from the conflict in Syria.

We appreciate the tireless efforts of the penholders - Germany and Belgium - and all other EU Member States and likeminded countries at the UN Security Council to get the resolution adopted in order to ensure the maintenance of essential cross border assistance to the people of Syria.

The Fourth Conference on "Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region" took place on 30 June 2020 in a virtual format. It was hosted by the European Union (EU) and co-chaired with the United Nations (UN). The Conference was preceded by virtual Days of Dialogue and by a week of side events.

Check against delivery!

 Ministers, colleagues, I would like to extend to you my warm thanks for having accepted this invitation to the fourth Brussels Conference on supporting the future of Syria and the region.

I am pleased to co-host this Conference with United Nations Under-Secretary-General Mark Lowcock, who is representing Secretary General [of the United Nations, António] Guterres today.   

On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we pay tribute to the victims of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. At a time when the world is joining efforts to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, human rights must remain at the core of our battle. On this day, we give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was targeted by several drones and ballistic missiles earlier this week. The European Union condemns this indiscriminate attack on Saudi cities claimed by the Houthis.

This follows an intensification of hostilities within Yemen where civilians, including children, continue to bear the brunt of the conflict’s violence. All attacks against civilians are unacceptable. The number of child victims of the conflict in Yemen is deeply troubling.

On Thursday 25 June 2020, Sudan, the European Union, the United Nations and Germany will co-host a virtual High-level international Conference.

This year, World Refugee Day comes at a time when the world is facing a global pandemic that has already cost the lives of thousands of people and is affecting the livelihood of millions more. The struggle is even harder for refugees, internally displaced persons, migrants and stateless persons. With limited or no access to medical care and protection mechanisms, these people are more vulnerable to the effects of this global crisis.

The European Union congratulates Volkan Bozkir on his election as the 75th President of the UN General Assembly and India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico and Norway on their election as non-permanent members to the UN Security Council for the period 2021-2022.

With these elections comes responsibility. The European Union looks forward to working with all to address global challenges in these uncertain times and to support international peace and security. The UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council both have crucial roles to play in this regard.

Joint Statement by the EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, and UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, on the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict.

28/05/2020 – United Nations, New York
HR/VP Josep Borrell sets out the EU’s strong support for effective multilateralism and the work of the United Nations. He gives detailed examples of how the EU is working to promote peace and security in many crises that are on the agenda of the UN Security Council.

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.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the defining health crisis of our time.

High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell spoke by phone to Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus on Thursday. High Representative Borrell relayed the EU’s strong support to the WHO at this critical moment and reiterated the need to continue working together through the multilateral system to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The European Union welcomes the release of the first report of the Investigation and Identification Team to the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and to the Secretary General of the United Nations on 8 April 2020. We fully support the report’s findings and note with great concern its conclusions. The European Union strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Arab Air Force as concluded by the report. Those identified responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable for these reprehensible acts.

The European Union strongly supports the appeal by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres for an immediate global ceasefire in light of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Nicole Ameline, membre du Comité des Nations Unies pour l’élimination de la discrimination à l’égard des femmes (CEDAW) est l'invitée de la Commission Nationale des Droits Humains (NHRC) pour trois jours de conférences, financées par l'Union européenne sur les droits humains en particulier sur les droits des femmes. Ce matin, elle animait la conférence "Procédures du CEDAW à l'égard des femmes: les enjeux pour Maurice" en présence du Président de la Commission Nationale des Droits Humains, de l'Ambassadeur de l'Union européenne auprès de la République de Maurice et de l'Ambassadeur de France.

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