National Statement by Sweden at the UN Security Council Briefing on Cooperation between the UN and Regional and Sub-regional Organisations (EU)
National Statement by Sweden, Ambassador Olof Skoog, at the UN Security Council Briefing on Cooperation between the UN and Regional and Sub-regional Organisations (EU), Tuesday, 09 May 2017
I am delighted to see the High Representative Mogherini with us today and I thank her for her truly inspiring intervention, with its focus on the 'win-win' of cooperation, a rules-based international order, and a strong multilateral system with the United Nations at the centre. It is particularly fitting that she joins us in the Council on Europe Day, 9th May.
Today we mark 60 years since the Treaty of Rome and 67 years since the Schuman Declaration, which set the European continent on an unprecedented journey from the ashes of war and division towards recovery and reconciliation and, ultimately, to the European Union we know today.
The European project has been the single most important institutional source of peace and stability in Europe since the end of the Second World War. With a vision of Europe whole and free, based on democratic values, a rules-based security order and shared economic prosperity, it has been the ultimate conflict prevention mechanism.
Today should also be seen as a celebration of the power of multilateral cooperation to deliver peace and development. Because this belief was at the heart of Europe's founding fathers, who, in the words of former Italian Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, Alcide De Gasperi, believed that the future would "not be built through force, nor the desire to conquer, but by the patient application of the democratic method, the constructive spirit of agreement, and by respect for freedom".
Because of the foundations upon which it is built, the European Union is a natural partner and ally to the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security. We are also joined in our common commitment to deliver a more peaceful, equitable and sustainable world as envisioned in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement.
We share a commitment to a world based on the core principles of democracy, the rule of law, and the universality and indivisibility of human rights. This commitment to the UN is clearly stated in the Treaty on European Union, which enshrines the core principles of the UN Charter.
Effective multilateralism is at the heart of how the European Union engages with the wider world. Therefore, it is clear that a strong UN is a cornerstone of the EU's common foreign and security policy, and that a strong EU can significantly contribute to a strong UN.
The opening line of the Schuman Declaration called for creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten world peace. This call to adapt in response to a changing world is as relevant today as it was in 1950. The Secretary-General of the United Nations is seeking to respond to this imperative through his renewed focus on conflict prevention and sustaining peace and through his efforts to reform how the UN works to make it more effective in dealing with the challenges of today and tomorrow. We fully support his efforts.
The UN reviews on Peace and Security emphasise the need for strengthened partnerships between UN and regional organizations. In this context, the strategic partnership between the EU and the UN in the field of Peacekeeping and Crisis Management is very important. Let me thank the EEAS and the DPKO for their efforts in implementing this partnership.
The European Union seeks to actively contribute to peace and security in Europe and beyond. It does this as a committed partner of the United Nations. Let me highlight just a few ways in which it is doing this.
Firstly, the EU is an advocate for a rules-based international order, with a strong United Nations at its heart, and for international law. This is why it has reiterated its unwavering support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Secondly, through its enlargement and neighbourhood policies, the EU helps strengthen democracy and human rights amongst its eastern and southern neighbours. In the Western Balkans, the Security Council has handed over primary responsibility for security and stability to the EU in countries that were once subject to large UN operations, and which in many cases are today becoming security providers in their own right.
Thirdly, the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy Operations contribute with qualified resources and support to UN peacekeeping efforts and peacekeeping operations. There is room for increased contributions in this regard. We also hope that the EU could enhance its engagement to support longer term civilian stabilisation and to the security sector in Iraq.
The EU has actively contributed to peace and security beyond the region and across all continents, for example, through its contribution to the Aceh Monitoring Mission; support for the Colombia peace agreement; stabilisation efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan; its maritime operations off the coasts of Somalia and Libya; and its comprehensive policy, in cooperation with countries and regional actors, for security, peace and development in the Sahel; and for AU Peace Operations, not least AMISOM, through the African Peace Facility.
Finally, as the world's largest humanitarian donor, the EU provides needs-based humanitarian aid in line with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. The EU-UN cooperation is strong, as evidenced by the process leading to the agreement of the ambitious Grand Bargain. A fast and efficient humanitarian response, which reaches the most vulnerable, is contingent on a continued deepened coordination and cooperation between the EU and the UN.
The Global Strategy for the European Union's Foreign and Security Policy gives the EU a renewed framework to act globally in support of peace and development. We hope that it can contribute to strengthening the partnership between our two organizations even further.
The European Union is a champion for multilateralism, and an shining example for what multilateralism can achieve. While the challenges that Europe and the international community face today could not have been imagined by the founders of the EU; the principals upon which they built our Union remain relevant as we seek to build a better future for all.