European Commission to strengthen partnership with UN on development issues

3 May 2001

In the wake of recent high-level meetings between the European Commission and the United Nations, the EC has taken a step forward in improving its cooperation with world body in the fields of development and humanitarian aid, the Commission announced today.

A new Communication issued by the EC aims to improve and rationalize the large number of financing agreements between the two international entities in the fields of development and humanitarian aid. This work has been conducted so far on an ad hoc, project-by-project basis, leading to a widely varying flow of contributions to some parts of the UN system, the EC said in a statement released in New York.

"Considering the responsibilities of the Commission and the UN, the relationship between the two must now go beyond ad-hoc cooperation," EC President Romano Prodi said. "We are looking for a structured, predictable and demanding partnership."

The EC Communication, "Building an Effective Partnership with the United Nations in the Fields of Development and Humanitarian Affairs," sets out a number of fundamental principles, including greater predictability in its contributions to the UN through the establishment of long-term priority areas for cooperation, and more active presence through an increased participation in the work of the governing bodies of the UN system.

According to EU Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Poul Nielson, the European Community has succeeded in setting out a credible mission statement for its development policy on a global scale. "We know what we want, and there is policy consistency," he said. "The time now has come to spell out how we intend to better work with an important partner such as the United Nations."


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