Statement at the UNSC Briefing on EU-UN Cooperation
Statement16 June 2022
Thank you very much, Madam President,
And I would like to sincerely thank High Representative Borrell for his really welcome intervention this morning and deeply regret like you, High Representative, that you can’t be with us in the room today. But we are delighted to see you on screen, virtually.
Ireland is a proud Member State of the European Union. We promote and defend European principles and values every day, including at the Security Council table. The transformative power of European Union membership has helped shaped the country that my country, Ireland, is today and we’re very proud of that.
We believe that the EU’s own firm belief in multilateralism and its strong, active commitment to the UN are born of its lived experience of conflict. They underline our collective rejection of the belief that military might makes right.
That is, after all, why respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter is written into the Treaty on European Union.
As we’ve just heard from the High Representative, the UN and the EU work as natural partners around the world to eradicate poverty, to protect human rights and to preserve peace.
The EU’s strategic partnership with the UN is quite literally a cornerstone for the EU’s policy and actions in support of international peace and security. From Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Middle East and throughout Africa, EU missions are deployed alongside UN peacekeeping operations or special political missions.
Some of those missions are recognised as playing a central role in responding to threats to peace, such as combatting piracy off the coast of Somalia or supporting security sector reform as in the Central African Republic where we work to complement MINUSCA’s work.
Irish experts are proud to work in EU missions in Europe, the Caucasus, the Middle East and Africa, while members of the Irish Defence Forces participate in Missions and Operations in Mali, Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the Mediterranean.
Together with our EU partners, we have supported mediation and peace processes in such diverse contexts as Colombia, Georgia and Mozambique.
As EU Special Envoy for the Peace Process in Colombia, Ireland’s own former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Eamon Gilmore, has represented the European Union while bringing the lessons learned in our own peace process to the table, sharing experiences, sharing ideas, on pathways to peace.
The EU has enhanced its capacity to prevent conflict, preserve peace and strengthen international stability and security, in support of the United Nations.
The EU works closely with many partners around this table in support of international peace and security as a member of the Middle East Peace Process Quartet; as a facilitator of the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue; and as coordinator of the JCPOA.
I believe that this Council should encourage, build and welcome this cooperation. The Security Council should use the EU’s support for the UN where this is appropriate.
We should all be ambitious in taking the valuable UN-EU strategic partnership on peace operations and crisis management to the next level. We surely need it.
A key priority for the UN-EU relationship should continue to be on UN mission and operation transitions, to ensure that any reconfiguration takes place in a responsible, planned and gender-responsive manner. One that supports peacebuilding objectives and is in line with the security situation and needs on the ground. And we heard from the High Representative earlier about the European Union’s support for the Peacebuilding Fund in this broader context.
Equally, we need to ensure that we are addressing climate related security risks where relevant in our prevention and peacebuilding work across the EU and the UN. Ireland puts a real premium on that as an objective and sees that as urgent.
As the facts tell, President, the EU is the world’s leading humanitarian and development assistance donor. As such, the EU is a critical key partner to the UN in crisis management.
Today, the EU and the UN have truly a crucial role to play in ensuring that the multilateral system can deliver a rapid and effective response to the deepening global food security crisis driven by Russia’s senseless war in Ukraine.
At this moment, there are 20 million tonnes of grain trapped in Ukraine. This grain is trapped by the transformation of Ukraine and the Black Sea into a war zone by Russia.
It is important to stress here that EU sanctions do not affect the trading of food, between Russia and third countries.
We are working closely with the UN Global Crisis Response Group, to ensure that our response supports that of the UN.
Through Solidarity Lanes, we are making efforts to get as much Ukrainian grain to global markets as possible and are supporting Ukrainian farmers to sow and produce in the midst of this war.
In our Global Food Security Response, the EU and its Member States are making an overall contribution of more than €5 billion in humanitarian and development assistance for global food security, up to 2024. We want to assist wherever we are needed, right across the globe.
The European Union will continue its close cooperation with the UN, and we will continue to be a responsive, responsible and reliable global actor.
Thank you, President.