Statement by Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière, Permanent Representative of France to the UN, at the UNSC meeting on cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union

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The European Union is a major partner of the United Nations

March 12, 2024

Mr. President,

I would like to thank the High Representative for his statement, and warmly welcome his presence here among us.

The European Union is a major partner of the United Nations. It tirelessly defends our Charter.

The European Union and its member states stand ready, more than ever, to support Ukraine at a time when, for the past two years, Russia has carried out a war of aggression on European soil, flouting international law.

The European Union and its member states also continue to respond to crises. Its member states deploy over 3,000 personnel in United Nations peacekeeping operations.

In Lebanon, European Union member states contribute almost a third of UNIFIL’s staff, whose commitment to de-escalation is essential.

In the Red Sea, the European Union supports the United Nations’ efforts to protect maritime traffic through its Operation Aspidès.

In the Middle East, the European Union continues to support the United Nations. Last week, it paid 50 million euros to UNRWA, and will contribute a total of 82 million euros in 2024. Off the coast of Libya, Operation IRINI contributes to the implementation of the arms embargo established by this Council. In Syria and Turkey, the European Union and its member states have provided 30 billion euros in humanitarian aid since 2011 to the most vulnerable Syrians.

In Africa, the European Union is deploying several training missions in partnership with African defense and security forces. In Somalia, it is deploying two training missions, as well as the ATALANTE maritime operation off the Horn of Africa, and has committed over 2.6 billion euros in support of AMISOM and then ATMIS over the past fifteen years.

The European Union and its member states stand ready to defend the values of the United Nations. This includes the defense of human rights, and in particular the rights of women and girls.

The EU will continue to make its contribution to the priorities of the UN Secretary-General. In concrete terms, it does so by making a major contribution to the financing of the United Nations. The Member States of the European Union are the primary contributors to the regular budget and the second largest to the peacekeeping operations budget, financing almost a quarter of these two budgets, doing so on time.

The European Union supports the Secretary-General in tackling major contemporary challenges, in particular climate and environmental challenges, as well as development financing and support for the least developed countries.

This year, a number of milestones will give us the opportunity to contribute: I’m thinking in particular of the UN conferences on small island and landlocked developing States, which will be held next May and June, as well as the “One Water Summit” that we will be organizing with Kazakhstan. And let’s not forget COP29, to be held at the end of the year, which will place climate finance at the heart of discussions, in line with the Paris Pact for People and Planet. We are also mobilized, alongside Costa Rica, in the preparations for the 3rd UN Ocean Conference in 2025.

Finally, in his “New Agenda for Peace”, the Secretary-General has made recommendations to bolster the effectiveness of our collective security system. We welcome the comments linked to the “Pact for the Future”, which we hope will help strengthen multilateralism and the authority of the UN Charter.

Thank you.

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