UN & EU
EU and UN
The European Union's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the United Nations at its core, is a central element of its external action. This commitment is rooted in the conviction that to respond successfully to global crises, challenges and threats, the international community needs an efficient multilateral system, founded on universal rights and values.
The EU works with all UN bodies, agencies and programmes across virtually the entire range of UN activities, such as, security policy, peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance, industrial development, environment, human rights and culture.
The EU is the single largest financial contributor to the UN system.
As an observer within the UN, the EU has no vote as such but is party to more than 50 UN multilateral agreements and conventions as the only non-State participant. It has obtained a special "full participant" status in a number of important UN conferences.
In Vienna, the UN Section of the Delegation is responsible for the representation of the European Union to the Vienna-based United Nations Organisations (IAEA, CTBT, UNIDO, UNODC, UNCITRAL, UNCOPUOS).
Lisbon Treaty enhances EU international role
The Lisbon Treaty gives the European Union a single legal personality. It also provides for the European Union to replace and succeed the European Community, taking over all its rights and obligations, including with regard to its status within the UN. As a result, the EU can sign contracts, be part of an international convention or be a member of an international organisation, such as the FAO in Rome.
With Resolution GA/65/276, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 3 May 2011, the UN has granted the European Union new participating rights at the United Nations, allowing EU representatives to present EU agreed common positions, to make interventions, present proposals and circulate EU communications as official documents. In Vienna, the EU common position is expressed by the country holding the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, intervening on behalf of the EU.