Secretary-General Guterres praises a united Europe as 'fundamental pillar' of strong UN

Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres speaks in the the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Behind him Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament. Photo: European Union 2017- Source: EP

17 May 2017 – Secretary-General António Guterres today stressed that the European Union's contribution is absolutely essential for the United Nations, from support to peacekeeping to protecting human rights, solving conflicts, advancing the agenda for sustainable development and fighting climate change.

“A strong and united Europe is an absolutely fundamental pillar of a strong and effective United Nations,” Mr. Guterres told the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

“The European Union (EU) is clearly the most successful project of peace sustainability in the world,” he added, expressing his gratitude and appreciation for the EU's commitment to multilateralism and its contributions to development cooperation and humanitarian aid.

Addressing a number of issues, including Syria, migration, globalization and the need to preserve cultural diversity, the Secretary-General laid out his reform priorities to ensure the UN is closer to the aspirations of the people it is serving.

Mr. Guterres also stressed the need for Governments, local authorities, civil society and religious authorities to foster social cohesion, inclusivity and tolerance.

According to his spokesperson, the Secretary-General also gave a press conference alongside European Parliament President Antonio Tajani during which he stressed the need for a united Europe to support the search for global solutions, as no issue today can be solved without global efforts.

On his way to Strasbourg, the Secretary-General had met with new French President Emmanuel Macron. They discussed peace and security issues, as well as issues related to sustainable development and climate change. The UN chief said he looked forward to working with the French President on all pressing issues, noting France's key role as a pillar of multilateralism, the spokesperson said.


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