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EU & 05 UN Summit: Addressing global challenges

The EU and the 2005 UN Summit: Addressing global challenges

The United Nations Summit in New York from 14-16 September will provide the international community with an opportunity to agree on new and effective ways of meeting the challenges of today’s world. A firm supporter of effective multilateralism, the European Union will be active at both Member State and European Commission level at the Summit, working towards concrete outcomes including the full implementation of the Millennium Declaration and the reform of the UN.

Along with the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, the EU’s High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, and the EU Aid and Development Commissioner, Louis Michel, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner will also be present at the Summit.

“The EU is determined that the Summit will give us a UN which is sufficiently reformed to fulfil its original promise: anchoring international peace and security, promoting sustainable development and defending human rights and human security,” said Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner.

The EU and the European Commission have already expressed their strong support for the Summit goal of establishing a Peacebuilding Commission. The EU is well placed to contribute actively to this body given its experience in peacebuilding in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo and in the Indonesian province of Aceh.

Plans to strengthen the efficiency of the UN with respect to human rights and democracy through upgrading the UN Commission on Human Rights to a Human Rights Council (HCR) are also supported by the EU. The EU has also welcomed the Summit proposal of a UN democracy fund and the Commission has expressed its readiness to help given its already close partnership with the UN on electoral assistance.

In the environment field, the EU strongly supports the establishment of a UN Environment Organisation and is working with international partners towards a framework to combat climate change beyond 2012.

In May this year, the EU collectively committed an additional €20 billion per year of overseas development aid by 2010 and a further €45 billion a year as of 2015. At the Summit, the EU will encourage other members of the UN to follow its example by setting ambitious targets for development assistance, improving aid efficiency, ensuring policy coherence and focusing attention on Africa. The strategy emphasises the mobilisation of trade as an engine for development. The EU has also emphasised its commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), agreed by the international community in 2000.

“The European Union has geared its development policy firmly towards poverty reduction,” said Commissioner Michel.

“We share the vision of the UN’s Millennium Declaration: a world free from want.”

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