Remarks at a UN Security Council Briefing on UN-EU Cooperation

Ambassador Richard Mills
Deputy U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
June 16, 2022


Thank you, Madam President, and thank you for organizing this important and timely briefing on cooperation with the European Union.

The United States deeply appreciates the European Union’s contributions across the globe, which we just heard the High Representative mention, including its cooperation with the United Nations and especially in concert with the Council. For example, as we know, the EU has played a valuable role supporting Somalia through its support to first AMISOM and now ATMIS. We appreciate the EU’s security engagement across Africa is so significant, where 11 of the current 18 EU missions are in or off the coast of Africa. The coordination of the EU with allies and the UN in Mali and Central African Republic are important mechanisms for promoting stability and achieving our shared objectives.

Similarly, the United States welcomes the recent adoption of UN Security Council resolution 2635 and its renewal of the vessel inspection authority that supports the UN Libya arms embargo. We applaud EU Naval Force Operation IRINI for its use of this authority. Operation IRINI provides a deterrent to would-be arms smugglers, and it helps the UN Panel of Experts on Libya and others gather critical information.

And let me emphasize that the EU, to its credit, clearly has demonstrated its support of the values in the UN Charter with its actions to uphold the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity after Russia’s unjustified, unprovoked, and illegal war against Ukraine.

As the High Representative said, Russia’s actions are especially spiking global food insecurity. International sanctions do not target agricultural exports, despite Russia’s efforts to have people around the world, including Members of this Council believe otherwise. And while Russia spreads disinformation, as we’ve heard, the EU is spending over a billion in areas impacted by food insecurity. And we welcome the EU’s efforts, and we are pleased that even today as I speak, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack is in New York meeting with a group of delegates to pursue action on the call for action that came out of Secretary Blinken’s Ministerial on food insecurity last month – an important step that demonstrates the U.S. and our friends’ commitment to addressing the crisis in food insecurity that Russia’s invasion has caused.

And let me also say we’re heartened by how Ukraine’s EU neighbors have opened their borders to refugees of all nationalities during the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II – and how, through the EU’s Temporary Protection Directive, all those fleeing into the EU have received its social and protection benefits.

And let me also say how strongly my delegation agrees with the High Representative’s comments about statements calling on both sides to end the conflict in Ukraine. Such statements that all sides bear responsibility to end the fighting may be diplomatically clever, but they are morally indefensible. History will judge.

Finally, let me thank the EU for its continued commitment to Operation ALTHEA. This is especially critical given heightened political tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and continued efforts that we’re seeing there to undermine the Dayton Agreement. ALTHEA is an essential factor for stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the surrounding region.

Regional organizations are an essential partner of the Security Council to promote international peace and security, and that especially includes partners such as the EU. Madam President, let me conclude by saying the U.S. affirms unequivocally the EU’s role as a crucial partner to the United States, the United Nations, and in particular to the Security Council in the maintenance of peace and security around the world. Thank you very much.