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The UN turns 75, The EU turns Blue


Today we celebrate one of the greatest achievements in history: the birth of the United Nations 75 years ago! The UN was founded to rebuild trust and cooperation among people; to bring peace in a world stranded by a devastating war. All the European Union’s institutions, including the EEAS turn blue to mark this anniversary, to show once again how deep and strong the EU commitment to the UN is; to pay tribute to an achievement that needs to be preserved, and equipped, to face new challenges.

"While others turn away, the EU is committed to preserve global cooperation and strengthen multilateral relations with our partners across the globe. The EU will continue to be a pillar of the United Nations, its main contributor and its main supporter, for the sake of our citizens and of the whole world," EU High Representative Josep Borrell said in a statement to mark the occasion.

The European Union is the strongest partner of the United Nations on upholding and promoting a multilateral and rules-based global governance system. In responding together to crises, threats and challenges that require cooperation and coordination, on the basis of universal principles and rules, the EU and the UN champion the protection and promotion of the universality and indivisibility of human rights, the fundamental values of democracy and the rule of law, the environment and its biodiversity.

The Coronavirus pandemic is showing that cooperation at a global level is indispensable. No region of the world is safe until we are all safe: viruses know no borders.

The EU and UN have joined forces against COVID-19. We share a strong commitment to support those most in need, leaving no one behind. The EU and its Member States have mobilised 37 EUR billion for partner countries through a coordinated “Team Europe” approach.

We are working closely with the WHO to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics as a global public good: we are contributing to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) with EUR 400 million.

The EU supports the UN’s “Building back better” agenda and is working with partners to set the stage for a sustainable and green recovery in line with the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal.

And the EU has put its full weight behind the UN Secretary-General’s calls for a global ceasefire in light of the pandemic.

The EU has been and continues to be an indispensable partner for the UN worldwide in restoring and promoting peace, security and stability: we work together in protecting the most vulnerable, tackling hunger and malnutrition, supporting and promoting human rights, building democratic societies, supporting non-proliferation and disarmament, and in preventing and overcoming crises.

The EU shares the UN’s commitments and action on Women, Peace and Security, and we work together side by side on the field: 13 out of 17 EU missions and operations are deployed alongside UN missions. The EU is supporting some of the largest UN peace operations on the ground in Africa and operating under a UN Security Council mandate in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Western Balkans. In the margins of UNGA 75 High-level week, the UN and the EU signed an agreement on mutual support that will further strengthen cooperation and enhance our collective response on the ground.

The EU and its Member States are the largest financial contributors to the UN system: in 2019, the annual EU funding to the UN, as voluntary contributions, amounted to EUR 3.05 billion. The EU Member States’ contributions account for about a quarter of both the regular and the peacekeeping budgets.

“We invest in them because we believe that it is in our own interest and that of the world to do so. Our contributions to the humanitarian and development activities of the United Nations are an investment in the security of all”, the EU High Representative said in his speech to the UN Security Council back in May.

However, the world has changed rapidly: to be effective, the multilateral architecture needs to be updated. “Much of what will shape our future – cyberspace data analytics, artificial intelligence, biogenetics, autonomous vehicles, and much else – is emerging in a regulatory vacuum. We must fill it with agreed rules, norms, and standards, and ensure they are applied – including in contexts where the major stakeholders are not governments”, underlined Borrell in an article for the opening of the 75th UNGA.

“The EU’s bottom line is this: reform should take place by design, not by destruction. We must revitalize the system, not abandon it”, Borrell stressed.

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