It is an honour for me to participate in this summit and deliver this message on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.
Quisiera expresar un reconocimiento especial al Gobierno de Chile por la organización de esta Primera Cumbre CELAC-UE tan oportuna e importante. I also thank the people of this great country for warmly welcoming so many visitors into their midst.
The United Nations attaches great importance to its relationship with Chile. I am therefore glad to know that the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, based here in Santiago, was able to provide support for the preparation of this Summit.
I bring you warm greetings from the Secretary-General. We are both very encouraged to witness a growing partnership between two important regions. We at the United Nations share your conviction that by working together, global and regional organizations, we can build the future we want.
In today’s interconnected world, cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations is not just an aspiration; it is a necessity. From last year’s Rio+20 Conference to this year’s global discussions on the post-2015 development agenda, we rely on regional organizations and entities in finding cohesion and coherence among Member States in pursuit of our shared goals.
Both regions present here today are strategic partners for the implementation of the priorities of the United Nations and the Secretary-General’s agenda. This agenda focuses on sustainable development, conflict prevention, human rights, drug control, humanitarian assistance, helping countries in transition and empowering the world’s women and young people.
We welcome the emergence of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean Nations, CELAC, as a regional coordination mechanism. While CELAC is one of the most recent integration projects in the Americas and Caribbean, integration in this region dates back a long time. Several decades ago, the Rio Group played a crucial role in achieving peace in Central America.
The region’s efforts have also served as a model for other parts of the world. The Tlatelolco Treaty, for example, establishing a nuclear-weapons-free zone, has inspired other regions to do the same.
Latin American and Caribbean nations also played a key global role in defending and promoting democracy, as reflected in various regional and sub-regional instruments. There, too, you have pointed the way for others by addressing the difficulties that accompany democratic transitions.
With the European Union, the United Nations has been strengthening our already extensive cooperation spanning all three pillars of the United Nations -- peace and security, development and human rights.
The European Union is the largest financial contributor to the United Nations system. On the ground, the European Union and the United Nations work side by side to address challenges to peace and security by supporting the peace process in Somalia, the transition in Libya, peace building in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, and addressing the multifaceted crisis in the Sahel. In this region, we are carrying out joint efforts that encompass environmental protection, climate change, social integration, access to justice and urban management.
We are also working together to achieve the Millennium Development Goals as the 2015 deadline draws near, while at the same time looking beyond 2015. We greatly appreciate the active role the European Union is playing in the post-2015 process by initiating public consultations on key issues.
Your organizations – working with each other and with the United Nations – can have a substantial impact on our global progress. Let us remember that regional cooperation and arrangements form part of the United Nations Charter.
The United Nations commends the European Union and CELAC on your efforts to promote equality in societies as a basis for stronger democracies. We particularly welcome the inclusion of a chapter on gender equality within the expansion of the Madrid Action Plan. You have achieved impressive results to date within the framework of EU-LAC cooperation in promoting respect for women's rights.
As you may know, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon established a High-level Panel to advise him on the global development agenda beyond 2015. Several countries present here are represented on that panel.
It is widely agreed that sustainable development must be at the centre of this agenda. Within the United Nations, the Member States have established an Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, which is scheduled to start its work at the beginning of next month.
With this background, your Summit theme for this year, “Alliance for Sustainable Development: Promoting Investments of Social and Environmental Quality” is particularly timely and well chosen.
Our shared goal for the many work streams that have now been set in motion is a single coherent, integrated agenda.
As we move forward, we must take into account the broad global consensus that we need to rethink and energize our approach to development. This was crystallized at Rio+20 when global leaders committed to foster inclusive growth that reduces social inequalities – growth that integrates the economic, social and environmental dimensions.
Reducing social inequities requires investing in health and education for all, as well as in jobs for youth and for vulnerable groups. These investments have important multiplier effects for other dimensions of sustainable development.
Climate change is another pressing challenge. Tackling climate change will require both regional and global cooperation. Collectively, we must find the solutions.
This is a major priority for the Secretary-General. He is deeply committed to working with you to catalyze action so that we can implement solutions for a low-emissions economy and make concrete progress on climate financing. He intends to intensify his advocacy towards a robust, comprehensive and legally binding agreement in 2015, including by engaging and convening world leaders individually and collectively to mobilize political will.
Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean are key regional partners of the United Nations – places of dynamism, character and strength that can make a great positive difference in advancing our shared universal goals and objectives.
The United Nations looks forward to cooperating closely with you to build a world of peace, prosperity and dignity for all.