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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.

4 April 2016, New York – Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States by H.E. Mr. João Vale de Almeida, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the briefing on preparations for the World Humanitarian Summit by the UN Secretary-General

– Check against delivery –

Thank you Secretary-General. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

We wish to thank you for your leadership and engagement to address the challenges facing our common humanity. Thank you also for the additional clarity which your briefing provides on the outcomes and modalities of the Summit. Such clarity is much needed at this point in time. Indeed with less than two months left until the Summit, a shared understanding and converging expectations are fundamental. Regular information from the United Nations will also be important in relation to the role of political leaders in the different platforms in Istanbul, on participation and specific commitments, but also on logistics and security arrangements.

We believe that the World Humanitarian Summit is a unique opportunity to recall our shared global commitment to leave no one behind, and to commit to specific actions to pursue this goal. It is also a unique opportunity to make the humanitarian system “fit for purpose” and to improve its efficiency, including through the adoption of the proposed “Grand Bargain” to arrive at more flexible humanitarian funding in exchange for more effective and transparent spending of these contributions. Of crucial importance will also be a strong recommitment to International Humanitarian Law: upholding these norms is now needed more than ever.

In this multi-stakeholder Summit, we look forward to fertile discussions with other Member States but also with UN agencies, NGOs, and the private sector. With the many protracted crises we face, we have to be innovative, and listen to all stakeholders.

The EU and its Member States intend to participate at high level to reiterate our staunch commitment to principled and effective humanitarian action. In addition to such high-level participation from us and other major donors, comparably senior participation from non-donor countries would be just as important to also hear their voices and commitments, including those directly affected by humanitarian emergencies.

Secretary General,

We welcome the release of the proposed core commitments for the roundtables, which will help us frame our own initiatives. But beyond a compilation of commitments made by the different stakeholders, we believe that one of the main goals of the Summit will be to deliver a shared understanding of humanitarian priorities and how we can collectively and individually deliver on our commitment to humanity. This shared responsibility requires a global sense of purpose and the active participation of all actors of the humanitarian system. We reiterate the importance of an inclusive, transparent and multi-stakeholder Summit that delivers commitments across political, cultural, religious and institutional divides. We would be interested to know how exactly the implementation of the Istanbul commitments will be monitored.

Secretary General,

Last December the EU Council adopted its conclusions on the Summit. We are now working on another set of conclusions, taking into account your report and the report by the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing to establish the overall position of the EU and its Member States ahead of the Summit. You can count on our continued strong collective and individual support and advocacy to help ensure the success of this Summit.

Thank you.


* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

Ref: EUUN16-034EN
EU source: European Union
UN forum: Other, Third Committee
Date: 4/4/2016

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