From the Far East to New York

From the Far East to New York

I write after a week when I travelled to the Far East and then to the United States. First stop in Japan, for Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony, together with the representatives of 190 countries and international organisations. It was also an opportunity to meet with Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defence Minister Taro Kono: Japan is one of our closest partner, and we are strengthening even further our cooperation on security as well as on connectivity between Europe and the Far East. I also met with a group of civil society representatives and academics, and former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, to thank him for his contribution to achieving the new partnership agreement between the European Union and Japan. Press release here. I then travelled to China, where I met with Prime Minister Li Keqiang to discuss – among other things – how to better regulate our economic and trade relations. With Foreign Minister Wang Yi we talked about our common work to preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, and about the situation in Afghanistan, Korea, Syria and Venezuela. In Beijing I also met with a group of civil society representatives. Press release here. Final stop in New York: I spoke at the annual meeting of the International Crisis Group’s board – a non-governmental organisation that shares our same approach to conflict resolution in most of the current crises, from Syria to Venezuela. In New York I also met with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the ambassadors of EU countries to the United Nations. This coming week I will be in Brussels, for the conference we have organised...
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...