Partnership with European Union vital to tackling global challenges – UN official

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark [File Photo]

10 June 2010 – No single entity address all global obstacles, ranging from climate change to hunger, a senior United Nations official said today, underscoring the vital relationship between the world body and the European Union in promoting development.

Presenting the latest report on the partnership between the UN and the EU, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark stressed that “we can do together what we cannot do alone.”

At the event in Brussels attended by top EU officials – including European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek – Miss Clark thanked the bloc for its support of the UN’s work.

The new report, entitled "Improving Lives,” highlights how the increasingly dynamic UN-EU partnership is making a difference in the lives of tens of millions of people in more than 100 countries.

“While the partnership undoubtedly adds value at the level of international policy and norms, most importantly, it translates these into practical realities on the ground to improve lives,” it says.

The publication cites numerous achievements of UN-EU cooperation, including assistance to people in more than 60 countries recovering from natural disasters or conflict; the clearing of mines from over 150 million square metres of land; and the delivery of food to nearly 14 million people in dozens of nations.

The joint work has also extended to bolstering countries’ election processes and in supporting nations’ efforts to eliminate child labour.

Additionally, UN-EU cooperation made it possible to support the education of 22 million children and immunize more than 8 million young people.

“The UN and the EU are natural partners,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon writes in the forward to the report, with the ultimate aim to translate shared norms and values into “practical realities – above all for the poorest and most vulnerable members of the human family.”

The new report was published just months before world leaders gather at UN Headquarters in New York in September to reaffirm their commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline.

“The UN and the EU must be able to respond and use the strength of their existing partnership to accelerate their contribution to the MDGs,” the publication – prepared by the UN Office in Brussels – says.

Miss Clark said she is convinced that the partnership will deepen in the years ahead “and that our shared values and commitment to international norms and standards will continue to be put to work in improving the lives of so many around the world.”


News Tracker: past stories on this issue

UN agency uses European funding to boost food production in Lesotho

Related Stories





In-depth Interviews