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Ban says UN-EU strategic partnership key as world faces multiple crises

Security Council meets on cooperation between the UN and the European Union.
UN Photo/Evan Schneider
Security Council meets on cooperation between the UN and the European Union.

Ban says UN-EU strategic partnership key as world faces multiple crises

The development of a strong partnership between the United Nations and the European Union (EU) is increasingly critical as global crises intensify in complexity and multiply in scope, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared today.

In remarks delivered to the Security Council on cooperation between the UN and the EU, Mr. Ban told delegates that the “strategic partnership” between the two organizations “runs deep” as both share “common values and are committed to the peaceful collective management of security challenges to avoid conflict.”

“In recent years, the United Nations and the EU have made significant strides in working together for peace and security around the world,” he continued. “But we still encounter difficulties in mobilizing early action before a situation visibly deteriorates.”

As a solution, Mr. Ban explained, rapid and effective political engagement remained “the single most important element for success” in preventive diplomacy efforts as the two bodies continue to tackle a range of international challenges together.

The continent of Africa, in fact, offered the best examples of the comprehensive and complementary nature of the UN – EU partnership, he said.

In Mali, for instance, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) was working “very closely” with the EU and “benefitting from the uniformed contributions of 13 European Member States.” Meanwhile, in the Central African Republic, MINUSCA, as the UN mission there is known, has been working “effectively” with European forces, putting it “on track for a seamless handover by mid-March.” The experience, he added, showed the “tremendous potential for EU operations to deploy as bridging mechanisms to UN missions.”

“Given the magnitude of the challenges we face, it is our responsibility to continue exploring scenarios where we can put our combined efforts to use,” Mr. Ban continued.

In addition to the breadth of peace and security crises that had converged UN and EU attention, the uptick in global terrorism also remained a point of concern which required “a global and holistic response that upholds human rights and does not exacerbate the problem.”

The Secretary-General reassured those gathered that the UN remained “strongly committed” to working with the EU and other stakeholders in discouraging the rising phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters who, he said, posed dangers “within and beyond Europe.”

“While we all recognize that much remains to be done, our joint work over the past years has developed a solid foundation on which to build and deliver results for the people we serve.”

Mr. Ban also met today with Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs Security Policy, to discuss the work to be done in the “multilateral arena” in 2015 which would be “particularly important in helping shape our common future,” according to a readout released earlier this morning.

In the readout, the UN spokesperson’s office noted that both Mr. Ban and Ms. Mogherini confirmed that their organizations would work together on, among other things, the sustainable development agenda, climate change, and gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Moreover, on Ukraine, they agreed that the implementation of the Minsk Accords was still “the overarching priority.”

During his remarks to the Security Council, the Secretary-General indeed reiterated the need for all to “collectively work towards a peaceful, political resolution” to the Ukraine conflict which, he cautioned, not only threatened the country but “the broader European region and even international security.”