International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace: Statement by the High Representative Josep Borrell

Brussels, Belgium
EEAS Press Team

Multilateralism is under increasing strain and in need of urgent reform. But effective multilateralism is precisely what we need today, more than ever.

And despite the complex global landscape, there have been successes - the endorsement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Stimulus to accelerate progress on implementing Agenda 2030, the breakthrough at COP28 to keep alive the target of avoiding 1.5°C temperature rise, the headway on climate justice or the agreement on the High Seas Treaty to protect precious marine biodiversity.

These agreements take time, effort, and compromise to reach, but once we have agreements at multilateral level, they are strong, they can endure, and they apply to everybody.

The United Nations has been at the centre of these achievements, providing the framework for multilateral cooperation for nearly 80 years.

That is what the United Nations, the EU and other international organisations are all about: working through disagreements, finding common ground, and making progress together. There is no other way for countries or regions to tackle borderless challenges, such as the climate crisis, the global food security crisis, or global pandemics.

When it comes to global peace, the multilateral system is under pressure. Wars are raging on almost every continent. The UN Security Council – the body tasked with maintaining peace and security – is unable to find consensus on some of the most urgent issues. This paralysis comes with a high price.

But what is the cost of non-multilateralism? What if States stopped talking to each other? What if we did not even try? The picture would almost certainly be darker.

The answer is not to give up on multilateralism.

Fragmented blocs of countries, large or small, will not give the world the stability it needs. What we need is an updated, rejuvenated multilateralism that delivers solutions to global problems.

The Summit of the Future in September is a unique opportunity to reinvigorate the multilateral system, make the UN fit for the future and more representative of today’s world and societies.

The EU is taking a leading role in the process and is deeply committed towards building bridges and finding consensus on an ambitious outcome document: a Pact for the Future.

We must look forward and value what we have in common over what makes us different.

The International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace is an important reminder that we can only create a better and fairer future for everyone by working together.

Nabila Massrali
Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
+32 (0) 2 29 88093
+32 (0) 460 79 52 44
Xavier Cifre Quatresols
Press Officer for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
+32 (0)2 29 73582
+32 (0)460 75 51 56