Human Rights & Democracy

Mogherini stresses EU-UN multilateral approach based on common interests and values

14/03/2019 - 14:28
News stories

"There is a ‘European way’ towards peace and security, which is identical to the ‘UN way’ towards peace and security. It is a path built on mediation and peacekeeping operations, on sustainable development and the protection of human rights, on humanitarian aid and on building and respecting shared rules," EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said, addressing the UN Security Council (UNSC) in New York on 12 March 2019.

Mogherini stressed that the EU and UN share the same values and interests, namely the belief in multilateralism as a peaceful cooperative approach to international relations.

The High Representative also mentioned the main fields for cooperation with the United Nations.

EU & UN working together in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan

"Since the beginning of the war, we have said that the only sustainable solution can come from the UN-led process and from the implementation of the UNSCR 2254”, she said about Syria speaking ahead of this week’s Third Brussels Conference on the future of Syria and the region.

On Yemen she said the EU supported the Stockholm agreement, actively supporting the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths. On Libya she stressed that we were working as the European Union in the closest possible cooperation with the UN Special Representative Ghassan Salamé, and we were enforcing the UN Security Council Resolution on the arms embargo. “We are coordinating our action directly between the EU and the UN but also through the Quartet – which brings together the EU, the UN, the League of Arab States and the African Union, in a coordination that to me is essential."

Speaking of Afghanistan, she reminded that last year was the deadliest ever for civilians since the start of the war in 2001. “And yet 2019 could be the year of peace. We are following closely the contacts between representatives of the Taliban and the US government. These talks should be accompanied by confidence-building measures and a lasting ceasefire," she noted.

On Venezuela, the High Representative said "the crisis that affects the country is not a natural disaster; it has political and institutional causes. Its solution needs to be peaceful, political, and democratic."

The EU & UN working together in Africa

Federica Mogherini told the UNSC that "the UN is the key partner for us on conflict resolution in Africa. From the Central African Republic to Sudan, from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Guinea Bissau – wherever there is a peace process and a UN peacekeeping mission, the European Union is there, to support, both politically, financially, and with our own missions on the ground. "

On funding the High Representative said that "the EU Member States – taken together – contribute one-third of the UN peacekeeping budget. This is more than any other global power, and we are proud of that."

"Our cooperation with the UN and Africa goes well beyond peacekeeping. But in all sectors, our approach is the same. Africa wants and needs to take responsibility for its own security, for its own economy, for its own present and future. We have moved from the old donor-recipient relationship, to a partnership of equals in particular during the Abidjan summit one and a half years ago," Mogherini said.

She went on to tell the UNSC: "We set our common priorities together, and we try to understand how everyone can contribute to achieving them. This new approach is also changing the way we work together in the UN context. For over a year now, we have been working in a trilateral format with the European Union, the African Union and the United Nations. Our common work began on a common challenge: the dramatic situation of African migrants in Libya’s detention centres. We realised together that we could only empty those centres and save lives by working together, and thanks to our cooperation, we have helped over 30,000 people in one year go voluntarily back to their homes or find international protection whenever needed."

She remarked that this was probably our most innovative contribution to a more effective multilateralism – “regional organisations joining forces on the ground and in triangulation with the UN Agencies."

Mogherini also cited the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and the Prespa agreement as a positive example of EU-UN cooperation and the European Union's contribution to the multilateral system. She noted that "a positive conclusion to the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue would give even more hope to the whole region, it would be a model and an inspiration to Europe and to the world."

Global challenges - climate change & Sustainable Development Goals

The High Representative particularly highlighted the EU support to global solutions for global challenges. “From the Paris agreement on climate change to the Sustainable Development Goals: progress on these Agreements would have been impossible without the strong commitment of the European Union, and - most importantly - we continue to work and you can continue to count on us for their full implementation."

On relations with Russia she said that “ a clear violation of the fundamental principles of our international system came with Russia's illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula and its behaviour in eastern Ukraine. And the situation in Crimea has also led to the militarisation of the Azov Sea. This is what happens when international law is violated: tensions rise and conflicts proliferate. And we all lose. Russia is an important interlocutor for the EU, and we work well together on several files – from Iran to the Arctic. Yet, it is not a mystery. We are deeply worried about certain behaviour, not only in Ukraine, but also in Salisbury and with espionage against the OPCW."

She went on to say "this is why the European Union has worked and will continue to work to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran. The EU will continue to support all efforts to strengthen and expand the global non-proliferation regime. You can count on our contribution towards a full, verifiable and irreversible de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula."

Mogherini also noted that "the UN Agency for Palestinian refugees faced a serious funding crisis last year, the EU and its member states stepped in to fill the gap and prevent a sudden cessation of the Agency’s work. We want UNRWA to continue its reforms, that is vital, but we couldn’t afford the collapse of the Agency, and the chaos that would have followed. The Agency’s work is essential first and foremost to the life of millions of people and is also essential to preserve the viability of a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine. "

Supporting UN reform

The High Representative expressed support for UN Secretary General António Guterres’ reform agenda, adding that we were contributing in practice to a more effective multilateral system. “We need to expand and improve the system for global governance, not to weaken or to demolish it," she said.

"The UN are not only a covenant of States, they also represent the hope of millions of human beings who still suffer from the same human rights violations that the world collectively decided to ban after the sufferings of World War II" she said.

The High Representative finished by saying that the EU was contributing to a stronger and more effective multilateral system. “We are investing in our cooperation with the UN system as never before in our history.I believe that we must all renew our commitment to support the United Nations – politically, financially and diplomatically, here in New York as well as on the ground, in all the peace processes that need a multilateral framework to succeed."