Brussels, Belgium

16 May 2018

Transcript of the Secretary-General's remarks at joint press conference with European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker

It is for me an enormous pleasure to be back in Brussels and to have this very important meeting with the President of the Commission and with the Commission.

I want to say first of all that there is an exemplary cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations, and we are very grateful and very appreciative in relation to the excellent, financial, political support, support to our operations worldwide, support to our reform process, and I want to express here how much we cherish that cooperation and how much we want to make it always more intense and more fruitful. That cooperation is essential.

We live in a dangerous world. For the first time in many decades, the non-proliferation regime both in relation to nuclear weapons and in relation to chemical weapons are put into question.

We have the Cold War back -- with a difference. There are not today the mechanisms that existed in the past Cold War of dialogue, of contact, of control to make sure that things will not spiral out of control by any kind of incident. We have a multiplication of conflicts everywhere, more and more interlinked with each other and linked to a global threat of terrorism that we feel can strike anywhere in the world.

We have climate change running faster than we are.

We have a globalization that has brought enormous benefits but also dramatically increased inequalities in the world with terrible consequences in relation to the wellbeing of people, and also to the security of our world.
We are facing a fourth industrial revolution that again we hope will bring enormous benefits to mankind but when one thinks about genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, many other developments, it’s clear there will be a huge impact in our economies, in our societies, in our labour markets, and many factors could be detrimental to the wellbeing of humankind.

In this dangerous world, it is absolutely essential to preserve two things:  Multilateral governance institutions and the rule of law in international relations. And for that to be possible, and we know the difficulties that we face, the role Europe, of the European Union is absolutely essential.

So, my appeal here in Brussels is for the European Union to be more and more united, more and more effective, more and more present and for its voice to be more and more heard in international relations as a central pillar of multilateralism in today’s world.

I also would like to say that we fully support the efforts the European Union is making in order to rescue the JCPOA and all other efforts that the European Union is engaging in order to create conditions for a world in which peace, security, sustainable development and climate action are in the frontline of its activities and our common cooperation.

Q: Est-ce que, Monsieur le Secrétaire général,  vous encouragez l’Union européenne , notamment au niveau de la protection des entreprises, est-ce que vous encouragez l’Union européenne à déployer tous les efforts par exemple, cela aussi, pour maintenir cet accord au risque évidement d’une escalade avec les Etats-Unis?

SG: Je tiens à remercier le président de la Commission et la Haute Représentante. J’ai eu l’occasion de recevoir une information détaillée sur les mesures en préparation de la part de l’Union Européenne et je ne peux qu’exprimer mes vœux pour que ces mesures puissent avoir du succès.

Q: May I come back to Iran, please. And a question for the Secretary-General. How confident are you actually that this effort to save the nuclear deal will be successful and are you concerned that the United State might aim to reinstall UN sanctions against Iran to snap back sanctions in the Security Council?

SG: It is difficult for me to guess what member states will do. But I do not expect to have any initiative on the Security Council about sanctions in the near future.

Q: Inaudible (on Democratic People’s Republic of Korea)

SG: I hope that in the end common sense will prevail, and the summit will take place and it will be succesful.