STATEMENT by H. E. Ms. OLTA XHAÇKA, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania at UNSC briefing on cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations (EU)

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16 June 2022


On 16 June, the Security Council held a discussion on the Cooperation between the United Nations and European Union under the agenda item “Cooperation between the UN and regional and subregional organizations”. The meeting was chaired by the Albanian Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ms. Olta Xhaçka. EU Hight Representative and Vice-President of the European Commission, Joseph Borrel, joined through VTC.

The European Union is by far the biggest contributor to the UN. In face of current on-going European and global challenges, these two bodies need to further strengthen their cooperation in the service of a common agenda. The EU and its member states have a particularly crucial role to play on a wide range of issues, ranging from peace and security to strengthening of multilateralism, from promotion and full respect for human rights to joint efforts in mitigating the effects of climate change, as well as to ensure full respect for the international law and strengthen accountability for serious violations of international law.

We expect the overall geopolitical impact of the situation in Europe, including in the Western Balkans, to be present in our discussions. As a candidate country to the European Union, Albania expects a realistic, objective, time-framed, and credible approach of the EU-Enlargement towards the Western Balkans. It is not a favor. It is not just about keeping the promise made for a merit-based process.  It constitutes an investment in everything the EU and its Member States believe in: peace, security, development, human rights, democracy, and rule of law. It is also a powerful drive for sustainable development in the region as well as an important guarantee for a long due process of reconciliation in the Western Balkans.

To this end, Albania looks forward to an accelerated process of dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, with the facilitation of the EU, which should lead, as soon as possible, to the mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia. Albania believes that the Western Balkans have all reasons to look to their future with confidence. Yet, to overcome the past, they need to work together, be united, strengthen their bilateral and regional cooperation, through understanding and mutual respect, while they pursue their individual and common path towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration, to the benefit of their respective countries and the entire region.


STATEMENT by H. E. Ms. OLTA XHAÇKA, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania


I would like to thank High Representative Borrell for in-depth perspective of the cooperation between the United Nations and European Union. Your participation to this meeting, including through VTC, is a testimony of the importance of this issue.

Cooperation between UN and EU, based on UN Charter, has evolved significantly over the years. It has strengthened and expanded. This cooperation reinforces the rules-based multilateralism, at the core of which is the observance of international law and the protection and promotion of human rights.

We applaud the close cooperation of the United Nations and the European Union in their joined efforts and engagement in different ways, especially in the implementation of Peacekeeping Missions and Peacebuilding Processes and mandates. This partnership is essential to address the growing scale and complexity of challenges to international peace and security.

Last time, in this very chamber, you rightly pointed out, Mr. Borrel, that “We need this Council to provide necessary decisions. The price of inaction is paid in conflicts not solved, humanitarian aid not delivered and in lives lost”. Unfortunately – I have to say – this remains a fact and an ever more acute necessity nowadays.

This year, European Security has been threatened and the international rules-based order has been seriously challenged by the military aggression of Russia in a neighboring country, in Ukraine. The unprovoked and unjustifiable war has entered the fourth month, and its consequences are not only felt in Ukraine with thousands of lives lost, large scale destruction of civilian infrastructure, millions of refugees. It has also seriously affected world trade and induced a sharp food insecurity worldwide.

While the aggression continues to endanger the lives and physical security of Europeans, it also poses a challenge to the values of freedom, democracy, and justice that bind Europeans together.

Those 6.8 million refugees that have crossed international borders are not tourists looking for places to discover; they are mostly women and children brutally uprooted from their homes to find shelter. We commend the generosity and hospitality of neighboring and other countries who have opened their homes and hearts to Ukrainians fleeing a war they did not chose. My country, Albania, is doing its modest part to host and support them.

This unprecedented wave of refugees, unseen in the continent since WWII, has seriously challenged Europe but it has not affected its unity. To the contrary, it has strengthened its long-established values and principles, through the promotion and protection of human rights and solidarity.

The war in Ukraine has severed key supply chains and added surging costs to move products around the world. As always, such costs pass on to consumers. Keeping trade open for food, fuel and fertilizer is crucial to containing the increase in food insecurity globally. The blockade of Ukrainian ports must end immediately to ensure that food produced in Ukraine can flow freely to the rest of the world. We commend efforts underway by the UN and Türkiye to finding the best practical solutions with vital effect for millions worldwide. Let’s not forget that increased insecurity will always result in increase in the spending in defense and armaments, which in turn could lead to a decrease in investments in other areas, such innovation, education, and public services. Wars that have defined our past cannot and should not dictate out future.

Dear colleagues,

The aggression against Ukraine has come at the center-stage of our joint efforts for peace and security, but it must not make us lose sight of other conflicts and security risks in other parts of the globe.

Conflicts always have a local, regional and global dimension and the best solutions can be found when those three dimensions align. For this we need a strong and united multilateral framework. We strongly believe that the crisis the world is going through, call for more multilateralism, for more concerted and united actions, including most primarily, in the Security Council, the UNGA and throughout the UN System.

The European Union is a central actor in global political, development and humanitarian issues. It is the UN’s largest financial contributor, not only to the regular budget, but also to the funding of official development assistance and peace-keeping missions. It therefore exerts its influence not only in its immediate neighborhood but everywhere, and projects its actions related to humanitarian, development and conflict resolution worldwide.

This is particularly important for the six States of the Western Balkans. They are all involved, in various stages into what we commonly call the perspective avenue of the euro-Atlantic cooperation. We have made this choice knowing that by following this path we invest in our future, for more development, increased security, and stronger institutions accountable to their citizens. This is the value of the EU enlargement, which the events in Europe have again brought – rightfully and for very good reason – center stage.

I would like to take the opportunity to reiterate here what we share in Tirana and Brussels, and thank the European Commission for a continued close and ever strengthening cooperation, including for a realistic, objective, and time framed approach and support of the EU-Enlargement. It has always been a clear two-way drive, where parties deliver in conformity with their commitments. We are happy to be able to say, that we have done our part, and that we are ready for the next chapter, in a process that should move on with its invaluable political weight, an irreversible investment to stability, security and a common safe and secure future. Thank you, High Representative Borell for your continued clarity in this respect.

Equally, we expect the European Union to speed up its efforts in facilitating dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, which should lead to mutual recognition. It is time to look for concrete results and lasting deliverables. The sooner that chapter is definitively closed by an agreement, the better will be for everyone, irrespective of their ethnic or ideologic belonging. European Union has long proved its peace dividends for its 550 million citizens. We cherish and want this extended to the Wester Balkans as well.

Let me conclude by saying, that, in our judgement, just like we in Europe, the UN and through it, the world, need more of the EU, of its strong multifaceted action in all important areas. That can be achieved only through an increased and strengthened cooperation of UN and EU, which Albania fully supports.

Thank you!

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