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SG/SM/21366

European Union-United Nations Partnership ‘a Fundamental Pillar’ of Networked Multilateralism, Says Secretary-General

Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks prior to the European Union-United Nations high-level dialogue at the Greentree Estate, in Manhasset, New York, today:

Our world is in big trouble.  We still have COVID among us — look at people stranded at airports with airlines canceling flights because crews are ill.  At the same time, the recovery from COVID has been uneven, increasing inequalities in the world, between developed and developing countries and within each country.

We are still facing a dramatic climate emergency.  I would say that the goal to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C is in intensive care.  We risk seeing it lost irreversibly in the years to come.  It’s absolutely essential to reduce emissions, and we are increasing them.  I am very appreciative of the European policy to reach carbon neutrality [by] 2050, and to dramatically decrease emissions until 2030.

At the same time, conflicts are multiplying, and we have now the dramatic impact of the Russian invasion in Ukraine, that has led independently of the suffering of the Ukrainian people, to a terrible crisis also in food, energy and in finance.

Now, in this context, it is obvious that no country can solve these problems alone.  We need more than ever multilateralism.  But not any kind of multilateralism, because no organization can also solve the problems of this world alone.  We need a networked multilateralism and the partnership between the European Union and the United Nations is a fundamental pillar of this networked multilateralism.

The European Union is the strongest financial supporter, together with the Member States, of United Nations activities.  But more than the financial support, we have excellent in-depth cooperation — from peace and security to sustainable and inclusive development to human rights — but also in addressing together the challenges of climate change, of COVID and all the other problems that we face.  So, it is for me an enormous pleasure to receive Ursula von der Leyen and the European Union Commission for this joint retreat, European Union–United Nations, in which we will make our cooperation even deeper, even stronger, and even more effective for the people we care for.

For information media. Not an official record.