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EU at the UN

The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

Mr. President,

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the European Union.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, as well as Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.

Mr. President, first of all may I congratulate you on the assumption of your duties as President of this Council and on the organization of this timely debate on a subject of deep interest to the European Union (EU). I profit the occasion to welcome the Presidential Statement which will be adopted later in this debate.

The European Union recognizes that the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security lies with the United Nations (UN). The European Union aims at supporting the United Nations and, in particular, the Security Council, in carrying out its responsibilities and addressing challenges of conflict prevention, management and resolution, as a way to strengthen effective multilateralism.

Pursuant to chapter VIII of the Charter, regional and sub-regional organizations play a central role in the promotion of peace and security, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations. Their preventive diplomacy capabilities and good offices may be used to avoid the occurrence or recurrence of violent conflicts, both at national and international levels. They are closer to the realities of the countries and regions and have usually the motivation and willingness to act quickly and effectively, helping to solve conflicts and mitigating their spill over effects. They are also in a privileged position to support and enhance peace-building efforts.

Mr. President,

We believe that the European Union’s longstanding experience, sui generic nature, multiple instruments and considerable resources can be used in the context of a deeper and broader cooperation with the UN, as expressed in Resolution 1631 (2005) of the Security Council, in areas such as conflict prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping, peace-building, security sector reform, combating terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation.

The European Union is particularly pleased with the substantive progress in the cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union in crisis management, in particular the signing in June 2007 of the Joint Statement on UN-EU Cooperation in Crisis Management.

Building on a previous Joint Declaration of September 2003, this new document identifies four concrete areas for further cooperation between the two Organizations: planning, training, communication and best practices. The European Union is actively engaged and fully committed to the implementation of the Joint Statement, through specific measures aimed at developing dialogue and exchange of experiences, on a regular basis and at different levels, as well as ensuring coherence between the policies pursued by the UN and the EU. A similar cooperation has been buili in recent years with the UN secretariat on Conflict Prevention.

Mr. President,

Allow me to refer a few examples of how the EU mobilizes its full scope of policies and instruments in a mutually supportive way to reinforce its cooperation with the UN and regional organizations in the peace and security continuum, from conflict prevention to peacekeeping and peace-building.

In the framework of the European Security and Defense Policy, two operations in 2003 were real and successful tests for the EU-UN relationship: the EU Police Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the EU-led operation Artemis carried out in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1484, which succeeded in stabilizing the security conditions, improving the humanitarian situation on protecting the civilian population in Bunia, in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In 2006 EUFOR RD Congo assisted MONUC during the electoral process. This military support has been complemented, since 2005, by two long-term civilian missions to support security sector reform in the DRC.

The launching of EUFOR Tchad/RCA, bridging military operation in support of the UN police force in Eastern Chad and North Eastern Central African Republic, corresponds to a new step in our cooperation, representing a concrete example of how to maximize synergies and define responsibilities through a clear division of labor. By addressing the regional dimension of the Darfur crisis, the deployment of MINURCAT, in parallel with UNAMID in Sudan is a necessary step to facilitate a long lasting solution to violence in the region.

In the Balkans, the European Union’s military operations enjoy support from NATO structures in a unique co-operation agreement between the two organisations. In Kosovo a European Team (EUPT) is carrying out preparatory activities, in close cooperation with UNMIK, for the launch, when the conditions have been met, of a European mission in the Rule of Law sector.

The EU development assistance is equally mobilized. In Darfur, the African Union’s peacekeeping force, AMIS, has been from the start financially supported through the African Peace Facility, an original commitment of €250 million (now raised to some €385 m) to support African-led peace support operations and to enhance the institutional capacities of the African Union and sub-regional organizations in relation to peacekeeping and conflict prevention. Besides Darfur, this facility has supported African peacekeeping efforts in the Central African Republic (FOMUC), in Somalia (AMISOM) and in the Comoros (AMISEC). €27 million have been committed so far for capacity building.

The new Instrument for Stability now also contributes to peace and security efforts, with first supports being granted to the Trust Fund for the AU-UN “Joint Mediation Support Team” for Darfur, to the establishment of a UN trained Chadian police component in the context of the above-mentioned combined UN-EU intervention, as well as, in the case of Somalia, for the planning capacities of the AU Commission. National and regional envelops of the European Development Fund likewise contribute to the African Peace and Security Architecture at country and sub-regional levels. Tripartite capacity programmes associating the UN are being considered, notably in West Africa, involving ECOWAS. EU Development Funds are also used worldwide for peace building actions in post conflict countries.

Support to the African Peace and Security Architecture is a key priority for the EU and its member states, within the new strategic partnership the EU is establishing with the African Union. The Eurorecamp program and the training of military and police forces involved in United Nations peacekeeping operations, through its contribution to peacekeeping schools in Africa and Europe, also fit within this strategic partnership.

Mr President,

As it is widely recognized, the European Union is itself a structure for peace and security in its region, based upon common values of peace, prosperity, good governance, human rights protection and rule of law and we emphasize those same values in broader international relations.

The European Union takes an active role in enhancing regional cooperation throughout the European Continent and its neighbouring regions making use of mechanisms and policies such as the European Neighbourhood Policy, the Stabilization and Association process and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

Mr. President,

The European Union advocates a pragmatic and action-oriented approach, both for the EU-UN cooperation and for the broader context of cooperation between the UN and regional and other organizations. In that sense, we would like to present some suggestions on strengthening cooperation between the EU and the UN, such as:

    i) Ensuring a more frequent dialogue between the UN and the EU on the maintenance of internacional peace and security, using the structure of the UN Secretariat and also the Security Council;

    ii) enhancing cooperation on aspects of multidimensional peacekeeping, including police, rule of law and security sector reform;

    iii) pursuing the establishment of specific coordination and cooperation mechanisms for crisis situations where UN and EU are jointly engaged;

    iv) organizing systematic UN-EU joint lessons learned exercises following cases of joint operational cooperation;

    v) reinforcing the EU’s participation in the Peace-building Commission, drawing on our experience as a leading global player and a major provider of funds for peace-building activities.

To finalize, Mr. President, let me reiterate that the European Union will continue contributing to the maintenance of international peace and security in every way possible in cooperation with the UN and other regional and sub-regional organizations.

Thank you, Mr. President.

* Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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