1 October 2015, New York – European Union Statement delivered by Alain Le Roy, Secretary General of the European External Action Service, at the High-level thematic debate: Maintenance of International Peace and Security, 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
I would like to congratulate to the organisation of this debate, which is very timely and also a reminder of the importance of the General Assembly. In this regard it is important to recall the 22 September UNGA resolution and its reaffirmation of the “the role and authority of the General Assembly, including on questions relating to international peace and security.”
I am pleased to be here today to reassure you of the EU’s firm commitment to the maintenance of international peace and security and to effective multilateralism. This commitment stems from our values and beliefs as enshrined in our founding Treaty, according to which the EU “shall contribute to peace, security, sustainable development [and] the strict observance of international law, including respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter.”
The global security environment has changed dramatically in recent years though. Terrorism and foreign fighters, maritime security and transnational organised crime have all put deep cracks in the global order. That same international order and the fundamental principle of territorial integrity is being challenged by those that should uphold it.
The European Union is committed – with our partners – to provide solutions. These solutions must be more than plastering over the cracks – they must be substantial and they must be effective.
We have seen excellent initiatives this week. We laud the result of the peacekeeping summit. Our resolve to fight terrorism and deal with foreign terrorist fighters has been strengthened.
With the 2030 agenda, we have also agreed the development framework that – ultimately – will contribute to global stability. No one can question the link between security and development. We very much welcome the inclusion of goal 16 on peaceful societies in the 2030 Agenda. But the whole agenda is necessary if we are to achieve sustainable peace, which also rests on sustainable development. Implementation will be key!
Yet, we must do more. We can only do more so with our partners and most of all with an effective United Nations. The UN needs to deliver on international peace and security and we all have our part of responsibility in this collective endeavour. As EU President Tusk said earlier this week at the General Assembly: “Global challenges must be dealt with multilaterally, or they will not be dealt with at all.“
The EU and its Member States are partners in international peace and security.
EU Member States remain the main financial contributors to UN peacekeeping, covering more than one third of the total peacekeeping budget for the period 2015-2016.
We conduct missions and operations in support of UN objectives and UN peacekeeping all over the world. Currently, seventeen EU crisis missions are deployed (6 military and 11 civilian). These allow for burden sharing and support to the UN, notably in Mali, the Central African Republic, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Balkans.
The EU and the UN have just agreed to cooperate deeper on topics of mutual interest, ranging from rapid response to facilitating the EU Member States contribution to UN peacekeeping, Security Sector Reform, mutual support and enhanced information exchange.
We remain committed to give full support to the Africa’s efforts to manage its own security. The EU has agreed to increase its African Peace Facility from 750 to 900 million Euros for the period 2014-2016.
But security needs to be underpinned by development. We are engaged in peacebuilding activities in many countries, through our broad and long term engagement in development, democracy and human rights promotion, economic cooperation, trade and other instruments. This is why the EU has fully participated in the UN’s peacebuilding architecture since its establishment. I was encouraged to see so many high level events on peace building this week.
We believe in the continuum of responses the high level review panel on peace operations has called for. We work together with the UN on conflict prevention, and are already engaged in joint funding for peacebuilding projects with the Peace Building Fund.
We are committed to contribute actively to ambitious outcomes and ensure synergies between the three crucial reviews the UN is engaged in: on UN peace operations, peacebuilding and the UNSC resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. We look forward to ONE UN implementing reforms that will shape the global security environment for decades to come.
Let me conclude by reiterating the European Union’s commitment to a strong global order and to an effective United Nations. More than ever, Europe is ready to play its part!
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