At the UN General Assembly: a global network for multilateralism

At the UN General Assembly: a global network for multilateralism

I write after coming back from the United Nations’ General Assembly – my last one as High Representative: during these five years we strengthened cooperation between the European Union and the UN like never before, and we made the EU a global point of reference for all those who believe that our world must be governed together, joining forces, instead of going for unilateral approaches that do not solve our problems. As every year, we dealt with the great crises of our times – from our work to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, to the compromise reached by the Syrian regime and opposition on a “constitutional committee”; from the attempt to relaunch a political negotiation in Libya, to the work for Venezuela with the Contact Group and the international conference we just announced to support Venezuelan refugees. Our approach has been clear: we have always tried to bring all relevant actors to the table, and to keep the United Nations at the core of our work. This is the best way to protect and to strengthen the multilateral system, with action not just words.   New energy for multilateralism I discussed this approach with Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, at the beginning of the General Assembly (press release here). And most importantly, we put this approach in practice throughout the week. This was the case, for instance, with the joint task force of the European Union, the African Union and the UN agencies, thanks to which more than fifty thousand migrants have been transferred from Libya. Or with the new partnership that we have just created with...
From South-East Asia to Africa, for peace in Mozambique

From South-East Asia to Africa, for peace in Mozambique

I write at the end of a ten-day trip that led me to South-East Asia and Mozambique, for the signature of a peace agreement ending decades of war. On August 1st I arrived to Thailand, to take part – for the fifth time in five years – to the meeting between the European Union and the organisation of South-East Asian countries (ASEAN) and to the Regional Forum organised by ASEAN. In these five years the European Union and ASEAN have cooperated more intensely than ever before – on our common security, on the great global crises, on free and fair trade, on climate change. Here are my remarks at the meeting between EU and ASEAN. ASEAN’s Regional Forum was the opportunity to meet partners from all around the world: on top of the Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut Chan-o-cha and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai, I met with the Foreign Minister of Indonesia Retno Marsudi, U Kyaw Tin of Myanmar, Prak Sokhonn of Cambodia, Wang Yi of China, Taro Kono of Japan, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar of India, Kang Kyung-wha of the Republic of Korea, Winston Peters of New Zealand, and Chrystia Freeland of Canada. From Thailand to Vietnam. With Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich, we concluded two agreements for Vietnam’s participation in our civilian and military missions and for cooperation on peacekeeping – here is the press conference. In Hanoi I also met the Parliament’s Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân and a group of students from the Erasmus Mundus programme – who are Europe’s best ambassadors in the world (video here). Then to Mozambique, for a...