EU priorities at the UN General Assembly
Every year the Council of the EU adopts the EU priorities at the UN and the UN General Assembly, taking into account the UN’s agenda and global issues. These priorities guide the EU’s work for the year to come. On 18 July 2016, the Council adopted the EU priorities for the UN and the 71st UNGA (September 2016 – September 2017). The EU, together with its member states, will focus on the following issues.
The increasingly prolonged and complex nature of conflicts requires a comprehensive approach and an integrated UN response. The EU will help implement the recommendations from last year’s review processes under the UN peace and security architecture.
Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the UN global counter terrorism strategy, the EU will promote its full implementation in light of the Secretary General’s action plan on preventing violent extremism.
The EU will support the UN-led efforts in countries and regions requiring consistent international action, including Syria, the Middle East, Libya, Ukraine, Afghanistan and African countries.
In the area of disarmament and non-proliferation, the EU will support UN efforts to prevent non-state actors and terrorist groups from developing and acquiring weapons of mass destruction. It will also promote the full implementation of existing conventions on chemical and biological weapons, and will support the universalisation and implementation of both the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the arms trade treaty.
A more just and humane world
To address increasing migratory and refugee flows, the EU will call for a global and efficient cooperation framework. This approach should be based on shared responsibilities, promote development-oriented solutions, enhance channels for legal migration and ensure the readmission of individuals not eligible for asylum.
The international humanitarian aid system also needs to adapt in order to cope with the scale of current challenges. The EU will work to ensure synergies between humanitarian aid and development cooperation to better prepare for and respond to crises or disasters.
The EU will continue to promote the protection of human rights worldwide. It will seek to advance its thematic human rights priorities and take up country situations that require the attention of the UN.
An enduring agenda for change
The coming year will be focused on implementation of the important agreements reached during the past year. These include the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, the Addis Ababa action agenda of the third international conference on financing for development and the Paris climate agreement. There is currently insufficient integration between strategies on climate change, sustainable development, humanitarian aid and peace-building issues. The EU is willing to engage multilaterally to change this and work towards a comprehensive global agenda.
With the arrival of the new UN Secretary General, the EU will call for a comprehensive UN reform and a new strategic agenda for the next 15 years. The EU welcomes all proposals in order to guarantee that the UN is fit for purpose and can deliver flexible, effective and efficient solutions.