The commitment to effective multilateralism, with the United Nations (UN) at its core, is a central element of the EU’s external policy. This commitment is rooted in the conviction that to be able respond to global crises, challenges and threats, the international community needs an efficient multilateral system, founded on universal rules and values.
Over the years the EU has established a strong relationship with the UN. Co-operation takes place on a broad range of areas: development, addressing climate change, peace building in conflict ridden countries, humanitarian assistance in crises, fighting corruption and crime, global health concerns such as AIDS/HIV, labour issues and culture. Due to its institutional setup the EU speaks unilaterally for its Member States in such areas as agriculture, fisheries and trade.
The EU has played an important role in developing and implementing UN Conventions and Protocols and taken an active part in UN global conferences such as the World Summit on Information Society, the Kobe Disaster Reduction Conference etc. Currently it is a party to over 50 UN multilateral agreements.
The EU and its Member States also play a crucial role as the major contributor to the UN system. Co-operation is based not only in the form of the policy dialogue, but also goes further by generating financial support of the UN programmes and projects. The financial and contractual aspects of programmes funded by the EU have been streamlined through the use of the Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement.