Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
February 23, 2023
Thank you very much, Mr. President. We thank Malta for organizing this timely meeting on cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union. And High Representative Borrell, thank you for your informative briefing today.
On behalf of the United States, I want to express my deep appreciation for the European Union’s invaluable contributions to international peace and security across the globe through its cooperation with the United Nations.
The United States and the European Union have also built a strong partnership based on shared values and a common vision. We are steadfast in our commitment to the principles of the UN Charter. Principles of territorial integrity, of the political independence of Member States, of the rights to individual and collective self-defense.
These principles have been put to the test by Russia’s unprovoked, full-scale invasion of Ukraine – the biggest threat to European security in decades. But as President Biden made clear during his visit to Kyiv this week, Russia grossly underestimated the strength of Ukraine. President Putin thought he could divide the international community. But he was wrong. And the international community will continue to stand with Ukraine as long as it takes.
The dream of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace must not just be an aspiration. It must not be empty words. It must be realized for all of us to enjoy a more secure, more just, and more prosperous world.
Since Russia launched its war of aggression, European countries have bolstered their ability to defend themselves. And they have welcomed millions of refugees seeking safety and peace.
The United States, our European allies, and EU partners are working hand in hand with UN agencies, other international organizations, and NGOs to mitigate the humanitarian impacts of this war – not only in Ukraine, but around the world. Because we all know, this war has exacerbated the global food security crisis. And people thousands of miles from Ukraine, especially in countries in the Middle East and Africa that rely on Ukrainian grain, are in dire need.
That’s why, last September, the United States, the European Union, the African Union, and Spain organized a Global Food Security Summit – right here at the UN. Since then, more than 100 Member States have agreed to act with urgency and at scale to respond to the global food security crisis and avert extreme hunger.
That commitment must be backed up with action, with humanitarian assistance. And the United States and members of the European Union are among the largest donors to humanitarian and food security organizations, including the WFP and FAO.
We heard from High Representative Borrell: the EU-UN cooperation is not limited to one issue or one area of the world. This partnership is ambitious and it’s far-reaching.
In Haiti, the EU has joined the UN Basket Fund to help improve security.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EU’s continued commitment to Operation EUFOR Althea has been vital to maintaining peace and security.
And the EU-facilitated Dialogue remains the best path for normalization between Serbia and Kosovo.
In Afghanistan, the United States and the EU have spoken out against the Taliban’s dangerous and reckless decrees that seek to erase Afghan women from society and threaten millions of innocent lives.
And in Africa, the EU has been a key contributor to security through its cooperation with the UN.
Last November, the AU-EU-UN Tripartite Project on Enhancement of AU Compliance and Accountability Framework for Peace Support Operations was launched. This will enhance the AU’s capacity to ensure Peace Support Operations are planned and conducted in compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law. And this will build upon AU’s African Peace and Security Architecture.
We also welcome the EU’s commitment – made with the African Union and the UN – to promote stability in Somalia, Mali, and the Central African Republic, which will bolster these countries’ ability to defend themselves without relying on malign foreign actors.
In the Indo-Pacific region, the EU is helping improve maritime security and ensure shared domains are governed lawfully with respect to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Finally, we welcome the EU’s invaluable financial support to the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da’esh. The UN team is vital to UNITAD’s efforts to collect, analyze, and store evidence to prosecute atrocities committed by Da’esh.
Across every global challenge, the EU is a critical partner to the United Nations and the Security Council. And the world is more peaceful, prosperous, and secure because of this partnership – a partnership that we must continue to strengthen in the months and the years ahead.
Thank you, Mr. President.