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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.

Today, we have discussed about the situation in Afghanistan, China, and how the coronavirus pandemic has been affecting the broader South East Asia.

On Afghanistan, we had a brief discussion and we adopted conclusions on our support to the country.

EU News 139/2020

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The EU expresses its grave concern at the steps taken by China on 28 May, which are not in conformity with its international commitments (Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984) and the Hong Kong Basic Law. This risks to seriously undermine the 'One Country Two Systems' principle and the high degree of autonomy of the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong.

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The Council adopted conclusions reaffirming the EU's political commitment to support the people of Afghanistan on their path towards peace, security, stability, democracy, prosperity and self-reliance. The EU will condition its future political and financial support to ensure that the republican, democratic and values-based principles are protected and further promoted. The conclusions also reiterate the EU's support for a negotiated political settlement leading to lasting peace and reconciliation, which must build on the democratic and human rights achievements of the past 19 years.

The Council today decided to appoint as EU Force Commander for the EU military naval operation in the Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED IRINI) Rear Admiral Ettore Socci from Italy, from 6 May 2020 until 18 October 2020. He will be followed by Commodore Theodoros Mikropoulos from Greece from 19 October 2020 until 31 March 2021.

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.

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

The Council today extended EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime for one additional year, until 1 June 2021. In line with the EU strategy on Syria, the EU decided to maintain its restrictive measures against the Syrian regime and its supporters, as the repression of the civilian population continues.

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