Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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Security Council Urged To Bring Multilateralism ‘Alive’, To Tackle Serious Global Challenges

Rules-based multilateralism is not a simple or
appealing phrase, a top European Union (EU) official told
the Security Council on Thursday, “but our job is to bring
it alive”.

JosepBorrell, the EU High
Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said
that without “global cooperation based on agreed rules”
we risk “the law of the jungle, where problems don’t get

“Every day we see the cost of the absence
of multilateral action: reduced access to vaccines,
insufficient climate action, peace and security crises that
fester”, he said.

Every day
we see the cost of the absence of multilateral action —
EU High

peace building

According to the EU envoy, the
world’s “biggest changes” stem from new technologies,
which can be both disruptive and empowering.

technologies must reflect the values of the Declaration of
Human Rights or a “nightmarish scenario” will follow, he

“We all know that conflict prevention and
peace building are key”, said Mr. Borrell, urging States
to work with countries at risk “before conflict

COVID impact

Now, in the second
year of the COVID pandemic, the world must learn how human
health and security are linked with that of the planet, said
the High Representative.

“Where politics gave us
stalemates and divisions, science and cooperation gave us
the exit strategy: vaccines. The EU is a staunch promoter of
vaccine multilateralism”, with the UN-led equitable
vaccine distribution initiative COVAX
at its centre, he said.

Beyond the

Climate change and biodiversity loss have
reached existential levels, the EU envoy pointed

He called UN Summits in Kunming and Glasgow,
later this year, “a real test of the multilateral
system”, underscoring the need that they produce “real
outcomes, in line with the scale and urgency of the

To give impetus to the success of the
Summits, he hoped the Council would pass a resolution on the
increasingly evident link between climate change and growing

‘Paralysed by vetoes’

The Security
continues to be “paralysed by vetoes and
political infighting”, said Mr. Borrell, reminding the
Ambassadors that theirs is “a serious responsibility,
politically, even morally”.

On matters of peace and
security, there is no other organization the EU can turn to,
he said, calling for it “to match its belated but
unanimous support for…a global
with a full commitment to its

Working with Iran

to the Iranian nuclear agreement, Mr. Borrell said the EU
was working “on a non-stop basis” to revive the deal
“in all its aspects”.

While making progress, he
acknowledged that discussions are “intense and slow”,
saying that there is still “a lot of work to be

Photo/Eskinder Debebe | Security Council meets on
Cooperation between the UN and the European Union in
maintaining international peace and security. On screen is
Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign
Affairs and Security


The High Representative painted a grim
picture of subjugation in Belarus, from “massive repression
of peaceful protestors
” to the “scandalous” forced
of a civilian plane traveling between two
European capitals to arrest a journalist.

Meeting the
“major attack” with a “firm and principled”
response, he said, the EU has closed its air space to
Belarus airlines and is adopting a new package of sanctions,
while also devising a three billion euros package of
economic support for “a democratic

Council instrumentalizes

Mr. Borrell said that Ukraine was being
“instrumentalized” by the Security Council for political

Noting that while unanimously supporting the
to end the war in the eastern Ukraine, he
said, very little implementation has been done, and urged
the Ambassadors to step up their responsibility to
deconflict the region.

“The European Union will not
rest until all countries of the region will be inside of the
European Union”, the EU representative said.

To this
end, the EU is supporting reconciliation and reforms as
“the best antidote to nationalist

Multilateralism, said Mr. Borrell, is
“the most effective tool for tackling the most serious and
complex global challenges”.

“My plea is for
pragmatism, solidarity and humanity. The multilateral system
must deliver common goods as defined by international law,
norms and agreements”, he

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