The United Nations and the European Union: Our Shared Agenda
The United Nations and the
European Union: Our Shared Agenda
Europe’s support key in strengthening United Nations
peacekeeping, crisis management, UN Secretary General Kopffi Annan said in
statement to European Council. Calling for
bold action in 2005, he stressed need for full European engagement in supporting
global multilateral framework. Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi
Annan’s statement to the European Council, in Brussels, today, 17 December 2004.
UN, Brussels/New York.
I am grateful for this invitation to speak to you at such an important moment
for the world community and for our respective organizations.
In recent years, there has been steady and very welcome growth in cooperation
between the European Union and the United Nations. We have done a great deal to
give real substance to this relationship.
Today, our personnel are working together in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Africa
and many other places. European support for rapid deployment is playing a key
role in strengthening United Nations peacekeeping and crisis management. You
have been active in efforts to achieve the
Millennium Development Goals. As members of the Quartet, we continue to press Israelis and Palestinians to take
the simultaneous steps that could galvanize implementation of the Road Map. And
in Iraq, we all recognize our shared and indeed compelling interest in building
a stable, united and democratic country at peace with itself, in a peaceful
The strength of this partnership gives me great hope that we will now be able to
make far-reaching progress on an equally urgent and much wider agenda: readying
ourselves to meet the threats of the twenty-first century.
The report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change is now in
your hands. With great lucidity, the Panel has set out a new and comprehensive
vision of collective security for a world of interconnected threats and mutual
vulnerability between rich and poor, and weak and strong. Just as important, the
Panel has demonstrated why no country can afford to deal with today’s threats
alone, and why no threat can be dealt with effectively unless other threats are
addressed at the same time.
The Panel’s vision places a strong emphasis on prevention and on building up the
capacities of States to deal with threats and fulfil their responsibilities. It
sets out clear guidelines for the use of force. It has given us an agreed
definition of terrorism, which has long eluded us. And it has put forward ideas
for significantly updating United Nations bodies. Taken together, the 101
recommendations in the report offer the prospect of effective global policies
and a renewed United Nations. The Panel has brought us closer than we have ever
been to answering some of the burning questions of our times.
The burden now falls to us.
Some recommendations are within my purview, and I will move ahead quickly on
those. In particular, I intend to take the lead in promoting a new comprehensive
strategy against terrorism.
But we shall not succeed unless you, as Member States of the United Nations, are
ready to play your part.
As you know, the General Assembly has called for a Summit to be held next
September to review progress in implementing
the Millennium Declaration. To help
in your discussions between now and then, you will also soon have in your hands
the report of the Millennium Project on what it will take to achieve the
Millennium Development Goals, and my own report on the progress we have made in
the past five years in all areas covered by the Declaration.
It is my hope that you will arrive at the Summit ready to reach decisions on the
most important policy issues.
I also hope that not all action will be frozen until September. Where we can
reach agreement and act sooner, we should not hesitate to do so.
In September last year, I argued that we were at a fork in the road.
One path leads to the breakdown of the system of collective security that has
served us so well since 1945; to a reliance on ad hoc, improvised or unilateral
responses to the new challenges that have been identified; to a dangerous and
chaotic world indeed.
The other, not easy but in my view fully worth the effort, leads to global
solidarity based on shared doctrines and commitments, and to a global security
architecture that has a chance of commanding the respect -- and the adherence --
of all States.
As we move ahead, full European engagement will be essential. For many decades
now, European nations have pursued a common destiny. From the ashes of tyranny,
division and war, you have embraced reconciliation and cooperation, and built an
economic and political union that has brought an unprecedented era of peace and
prosperity to your citizens. You have proved to yourselves and to others that
former rivals and enemies can replace horror with hope.
That success means the world now looks to you to support a global multilateral
framework. Nowhere is that support more essential today than in equipping
ourselves to meet the perils ahead. We need you to play your role not only at
the Summit next September, but in the process leading up to it, by working to
bridge divergent views and find a broad consensus.
If 2003 was a year of deep division, and 2004 has been a time of sober
reflection, 2005 must be a year of bold action. Historic, fundamental progress
is possible. There is much to be done. I do not underestimate the difficulties.
But we must succeed. Together, we can and must build a safer, prosperous, more