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...
At the final European Parliament’s plenary before the election

At the final European Parliament’s plenary before the election

I write coming back from Strasbourg, after the last European Parliament’s plenary session before next month’s election. We dealt with some of the most urgent crises in our region – particularly those in Libya and in Sudan, but also the situation in the Golan Heights and in the West Bank. On Tuesday I presented our new strategy for the partnership between Europe and Latin America, after years when our relations have been more intense than ever. And on Thursday we worked on the human rights’ situation in China, in Brunei and in Cameroon. But this plenary was also the opportunity to thank the Members of the European Parliament after five years of common work and to take stock – of our successes and our difficulties, with some lessons learnt for the future. Here is the discussion on our legacy that I had with the Foreign Affairs and Development Committees. The week before was dedicated mostly to the new military escalation in Libya, in touch with Prime Minister Fayez al Serraj and the UN Special Envoy Ghassan Salame. We discussed Libya at length on Monday 8th in Luxembourg, with the Foreign Ministers of the European Union. All of us shared the same preoccupation for the consequences that the civilian population is suffering because of the offensive launched by General Khalifa Haftar and his troops. We also appealed to foreign actors to stop interfering, and to the parties to halt the fighting, accept the humanitarian ceasefire proposed by the UN and restart the UN-led dialogue. This is the message we sent both at the Foreign Affairs Council (press conference here) and again on Thursday 11th in our EU Declaration....
At the UN General Assembly: Iran, Syria, Israel and Palestine

At the UN General Assembly: Iran, Syria, Israel and Palestine

Yesterday I wrote about my week at the UN General Assembly in New York. Today I’d like to say more about the work done to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, to restart peace negotiations for Syria, and to keep alive and relaunch the two-State solution for Israel and Palestine. Saving Iran deal, for our common security In New York I gathered the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and Iran, to take note once again that Iran is respecting its commitments, as certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Together we are working on a mechanism that would let our firms continue working in Iran. I talked about it at the press conference after our meeting (here), with Fareed Zakaria at the Bloomberg Global Forum, and with Christiane Amanpour on CNN. The deal with Iran is working, and multilateral negotiations are a necessary path also to solve the Korean issue: this is what I said at the meeting on the nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. Our contribution to help restart the Syria talks in Geneva The war in Syria can only end with an agreement among Syrians, negotiated in the framework provided by the United Nations. In New York we worked to give new impetus to the talks led by Staffan de Mistura, the UN envoy, and Staffan was our guest at the European Union’s Foreign Ministers meeting – I talked about it with journalists, here. Then we gathered ministers from over fifty countries – from the United States to Russia, from Turkey and Iran to the Arab world – to discuss how to support the UN work. And...