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Statement by Ambassador Byrne Nason at the UNSC Briefing on Cooperation between the EU and the UN

Thank you, Mr President,


I would like to welcome High Representative Borrell today and to thank Mr Borrell for his thought-provoking intervention. We are really delighted to have you with us, Mr. Borrell.


Mr President,


The EU’s firm belief in multilateralism and its strong commitment to the UN, are born of its own lived experience of conflict and peacebuilding on the continent of Europe. This is why respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter is actually written into the Treaty on European Union.


Today, the UN and the EU work in lockstep as natural partners right around the world to eradicate poverty, protect human rights, and to overcome the global health crisis posed by COVID-19.


As a proud member of the EU, Ireland understands the power of cooperation among nations in meeting our common challenges. We believe in it.


The harrowing experience of the pandemic has surely taught us one thing: that the power of coordinated action at international and regional level greatly eclipses that of any unilateral response.


The EU is the world’s leading development donor, the EU is a key partner of the UN on crisis management. In these roles, the EU demonstrates just how complementary it is with the UN in the way it works and I have to say, more importantly, how it acts. This makes the EU and the UN strong and influential natural partners.


The EU has enhanced its capacity to prevent conflict, preserve peace and strengthen international stability and security, in support of the UN. Two new instruments will deliver on that: the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument and the European Peace Facility.  The strategic partnership with the UN is a key element for future orientation of the EU’s action in Security and Defence.


From Kosovo to the Middle East and throughout Africa, EU missions are deployed alongside UN peacekeeping missions or special political missions.



Irish experts are seconded to 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.


We are proud, together with our EU partners, to have supported mediation and peace processes in Colombia, Afghanistan, Georgia, the Philippines and Mozambique. As EU Special Envoy for the Peace Process in Colombia, Ireland’s former Deputy Prime Minister, Eamon Gilmore, has represented the EU while bringing the lessons learned from Ireland’s own peace process to the table.


The EU works closely with many partners around this table in the Security Council in support of international peace and security we work a member of the Middle East Peace Process Quartet; facilitator of the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and as coordinator of the JCPOA. Ireland, as Facilitator for Resolution 2231, will assist this Council in upholding this important, key agreement.


Mr President,


I believe that this Council should encourage and welcome this cooperation and utilise the EU’s support for the UN where we can.


We welcome the trilateral cooperation between the UN, the EU and the AU, as well as UN cooperation with the OSCE and ASEAN. These partnerships play important roles in addressing issues that concern all of us: encouraging dialogue, respect for human rights and humanitarian assistance. The partnerships play a role in seeking peaceful solutions to the crises in Myanmar and in Ethiopia; they play roles in support of peaceful, inclusive, democratic and time-bound transitions in Mali and in Chad.


Mr President,


Despite this good work, of course many challenges remain. We need to make real and tangible progress on delivering on the Women, Peace and Security agenda.  We strongly support the really valuable UN‑EU Spotlight Initiative on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls. We urge that WPS remain at the core and one of the EU-UN priorities on peace operations and crisis management for the next period. We see that as fundamental.


We are committed to ensuring that we address climate related security risks where relevant in our prevention and peacebuilding work across the EU and the UN. 


Another area we see scope for greater cooperation is in improving mission transitions. Peacekeeping must be linked to peacebuilding in order to disrupt cycles of violence, prevent conflict and to sustain the peace we are trying to instil. Cooperating closely, we can ensure that mission transitions take place in a responsible, coordinated and graduated manner, responsive to the specific needs on the ground. We certainly believe there is scope for enhanced EU-UN coordination on peacebuilding and on the valuable UN Peacebuilding Fund.  


Finally, Mr President,


The multilateral system must deliver in response to COVID-19 by building back better – that almost sounds like a cliché but what it means is debt relief, it means equitable access to vaccines, it means access to sustainable financing, it must include green recovery to meet the existential challenge of climate change. On that we are very clear.


The EU has a pivotal role to play on all of those issues and more. I know it will continue to show its trademark dedication, generosity and focus in delivering on such critical goals. 


Thank you.

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