Official speeches and statements - May 29, 2020
Let me first thank the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr. Josep Borrell, for his statement.
The European Union shares with the United Nations the same conviction that cooperation among nations is the only possible way to meet common challenges. This conviction has been translated, in the course of almost 70 years of shared history, into a multitude of concrete cooperation and actions.
The world today faces an unprecedented challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic. The European Union has already demonstrated its mobilization against the virus in solidarity with the rest of the world. France advocated strongly for sub-Saharan Africa to be viewed as a priority region in European response. More than ever, we are convinced of our common obligation and interest to coordinate our actions, under the leadership of the United Nations. In this regard, the European Union has given clear support to the Secretary-General’s call for a comprehensive. France once again calls on all Security Council members to live up to their responsibilities by adopting a resolution establishing a cessation of hostilities and a humanitarian pause for the situations on its agenda. The EU initiative of a humanitarian air bridge contributes to supporting the UN efforts to ensure humanitarian access to the most vulnerable countries. It includes a strong focus on Africa. I want to stress very clearly that European Union sanctions do not impede the fight against the pandemic as they include humanitarian derogations that allow for aid delivery.
In many crises, the European Union and the United Nations have demonstrated the complementarity of their tools. The EU is collectively the first financial contributor to the UN. It is also the world’s leading humanitarian aid donor and it acts in close coordination with the UN. EU member states support peacekeeping operations in the context of the pandemic.
- in the Sahel, we have a good share of responsibilities between the EU, which trains the local armies and local police, and the UN, which has a key role in the peace process and protection of civilians. The EU and the UN also provide support to the G5 Sahel joint force. And EU member States also provide more than 1,000 peacekeepers within MINUSMA;
- on many other African crises, the trilateral cooperation between the EU, the UN and the African Union is now a key instrument for the prevention and resolution of conflicts and for the implementation of Agenda 2030;
- I also want to highlight the role of the EU in the development and the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, on Iran, which represents a key achievement of multilateral diplomacy. In that regard, I would also like to echo the regret expressed by Mr Borrell about the United States decision to not prolong the waivers for key JCPOA-related nuclear projects. The JCPOA serves the non-proliferation interests of all, and remains the best way to ensure the exclusively peaceful nature of Iranian nuclear activities. This is why we and the remaining participants to the JCPOA will continue to work towards its preservation and full implementation;
- in Syria, the EU is supporting the Syrian people through humanitarian aid and stands ready to contribute to the funding of the reconstruction when credible political solution based on Security Council resolution 2254 is firmly under way;
- with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the EU has voiced its strong attachment to the internationally agreed parameters of the two-state solution based on the 1967 lines, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states. Annexation of parts of the West Bank by the Israeli authorities would be a violation of international law and would not be without consequences for the relationship of the EU and its member states with Israel;
- with a view to solve the conflict in Libya, the European Union has decided to deploy the operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI, which will notably monitor the violations of the arms embargo in the high sea and will therefore be the main contributor of the implementation of UNSCR 2292;
- in the Western Balkans, the European Union is playing a leading role in facilitating dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo and benefits from the stabilization groundwork carried out by UNMIK.
The European Union and the United Nations are also joining forces to provide responses to global challenges.
- in the area of climate change, the EU and the UN work together to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and will continue to increase the ambition ahead of COP26;
- concerning biodiversity, the EU is one of the most ambitious actors, calling for the preservation of marine wildlife and resources in support of the UN;
- regarding health, the EU is strongly committed to support a global and effective response to the covid-19 crisis, and other possible crisis to come. The EU will push for a renovated and more efficient multilateral heath system, within the framework of the WHO;
- the synergies between the EU and the UN in promoting and protecting universal human rights and fundamental freedoms are essential. The UE fully supports the action of the Secretary-General and all relevant UN agencies in this regard. The EU and its member states will continue to promote the highest standards when it comes to human rights across the UN system, including in the Security Council. When it comes to gender equality and women’s rights, we will continue to support the SG’s call to "push back against the pushback".
The EU and the UN share common values and promote the same agenda for all those global and highly critical challenges. It is our mutual interest to cooperate more closely, for the benefit of the entire international community. In this regard, France is supporting more interactions between the EU and the UN, and a stronger presence of the EU within the UN system.
The members of the European Union are not only the largest contributors to the United Nations budget and firm supporters of the modernization efforts that have been initiated. Together with the EU, we work concretely in conjunction with the United Nations in all areas of crisis to facilitate political dialogue, maintain and build peace and assist civilian populations. In this way, we contribute to the construction of a strong and living multilateralism, which is the only way to establish a stable and secure international order.
I thank you.