Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on Cooperation between the UN and the European Union

Rodney Hunter
Political Coordinator
New York, New York
June 10, 2021


Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, the United States would like to thank Estonia for organizing this important and timely briefing, and thank High Representative Borrell for his remarks today.

The U.S.-EU partnership is built on a foundation of shared values. It is built on a common vision that includes a commitment to democracy and the rule of law, a respect for human rights, the promotion of economic opportunity, and the pursuit of transatlantic prosperity and security. The European Union remains an indispensable partner to the United States in our efforts to promote global security and prosperity, and Europe’s security and success are inextricably linked to our own.

President Biden will meet Presidents Michel and von der Leyen on June 15 to discuss a common agenda to ensure global health security, build a sustainable economic recovery, fight climate change, enhance digital trade and cooperation, push back against malign behavior, and address global challenges.

Together, the United States and the EU have pledged funding towards COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts and the health and humanitarian response. We are working to defeat COVID-19, to rebuild our communities, to rebuild our economies, to strengthen our trade networks, and to come back even stronger. The United States deeply appreciates the European Union’s contributions across the globe, including its cooperation with the United Nations.

In Africa, the EU has played a key role in counterterrorism, conflict prevention, security assistance, and peacebuilding. We are grateful for the significant support the EU provides for peace and security initiatives in Africa, including for the AU Mission to Somalia, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, and the G5 Sahel Joint Force. The EU’s Operation IRINI and its assistance in implementing the arms embargo are contributing to peace and security in Libya.

We share the EU’s deep concern over the human rights violations, abuses, and atrocities in Tigray, including the lack of access of humanitarian actors to the most vulnerable populations who are on the cusp of famine. We will continue to work closely with our EU partners to address crises not only in Tigray, but around the world, including in Burma, in Syria, and in Venezuela. This Council can, and must, also do better in responding.

We greatly appreciate the EU’s critical role in holding Russia accountable for its violations of international law. Moscow’s actions in Ukraine remains a threat to European security, seven years after Russia’s intervention in eastern Ukraine and its occupation of Crimea. The United States’ and the EU’s support for Ukraine and Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is unwavering, whether via the UN system, other multilateral fora, or bilaterally. We will continue to stand with our allies and partners in calling on Russia to immediately cease its evolving military, economic, diplomatic, and disinformation efforts to destabilize Ukraine and Georgia.

We also thank the European Union for its decisive, quick, and clear action on the forced diversion of a flight between two EU Member States, and the subsequent removal and arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich in Minsk. We will enhance our efforts, including through the coordination of our sanctions policies, to ensure that the Belarusian authorities are held accountable for their actions.

In terms of Belarus’s dire human rights situation, we are committed to close coordination with the EU to promote transparency and accountability. We support international efforts to independently look into the human rights situation, including as it impacts Polish minority communities. We welcome efforts by the UN OHCHR and International Accountability Platform for Belarus in this regard.

Mr. President, the United States unequivocally affirms the EU’s role as a crucial partner to the United Nations, and in particular to the Security Council, in the maintenance of peace and security around the world.

Thank you, Mr. President.