Sumario: July 22, 2005: EUROPEAN UNION PRIORITIES FOR THE 60TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (Brussels)
1. The European Union is deeply committed to the United Nations, to upholding and developing international law, and to effective multilateralism as a central element of its external action. This commitment was strongly reaffirmed by the European Council in its conclusions of 16 - 17 June. During the course of the 60th General Assembly of the United Nations, the European Union will give the highest priority to engaging with its UN partners on implementation of the agreements reached at the September Millennium Review Summit. It will also engage with UN partners on other key issues such as co-operation in crisis management, refugees/displaced persons, negotiations of the next UN Budget and the Capital Master Plan.
2005 High Level Event Top
2. The 60th Session of the United Nations General Assembly has special significance this year in view of the meeting of Heads of State and Government on 14-16 September 2005 for the High-Level Plenary Event of the General Assembly in New York. Five years after the 2000 UN Millennium Summit, the 2005 Summit will assess the implementation of the Millennium Declaration, the Millennium Development Goals and the outcome of major UN summits and conferences in the economic, social and related fields. The Summit will also adapt the UN to new realities and define specific tasks in this respect.
3. The European Union stresses that the Secretary General's report "In Larger Freedom" is a good basis for the negotiation of an outcome document for the Summit in September and considers it crucial to agree on a package of development, human rights, security and UN institutional reforms. The result should be a strengthened and more effective United Nations, better able to address the interconnected and multidimensional threats and challenges to international peace, security and development. The EU will strengthen its efforts in a common endeavour to work for an ambitious and balanced outcome at the Summit and is committed to working constructively with UN partners during the 60th General Assembly and elsewhere to implement the agreements made at the Summit.
4. The EU stresses the high importance of development issues in the 60th UNGA. The EU's recent commitment to new levels of ODA, notably to reach a collective 0.56% ODA/GNI by 2010 and 0.7% by 2015 which will result in an additional annual 20 billion euros ODA by 2010, underlines the priority the EU attaches to financing for development. The EU will strive for an ambitious and concrete programme of action, involving more and better financing for development, including through innovative mechanisms; commitments and action, at national level, by developing countries to create and reinforce the necessary governance structures and environment for economic growth; and adopting ambitious national development strategies and policies, as well as paying special attention to the particular needs of Africa. In this regard, the EU recalls its collective commitment to allocate at least 50% of the agreed increase in ODA resources to Africa. UNGA60 should signal clearly the need for longer term, more radical reform of the UN development architecture.
5. The EU underlines the importance of taking into account the social dimension of globalisation in various policies and in international co-operation. The EU will promote employment and decent work for all.
6. The EU regards the creation of the Peacebuilding Commission, conflict prevention, the fight against terrorism, the adoption of general principles concerning the use of force, disarmament, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery and the strengthening of the United Nations peacekeeping capabilities as its priorities in the preparation of the Summit as far as the issue of peace and security is concerned.
7. The EU welcomes and strongly supports the establishment of a Peacebuilding Commission, to assist countries in making the transition from the end of armed conflict to the resumption of sustainable development activities and to better coordinate all bilateral and multilateral actors. The EU will work for an effective Peacebuilding Commission, which can prevent conflicts re-occurring.
8. Regarding the fight against terrorism, the EU welcomes the proposal for a clear statement that violence targeted against civilians and non-combatants is not justified under any circumstances. It urges all states to unite behind the clear political declaration on this proposed by the Secretary General. The EU also supports the UN comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy proposed by the Secretary General in Madrid, including the elaboration of a universal definition of terrorism. The EU calls for agreement at the 60th GA on the Co-ordinator's text of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, and for the signature and ratification of all 13 existing UN counter-terrorism conventions.
9. The EU also welcomes the prominent place given to human rights, the rule of law and democracy in the reform proposals. In this connection, the EU reaffirms the importance of the responsibility to protect. It supports the Secretary-General's proposals to reinforce the role and resources of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and to establish a Human Rights Council, with a robust mandate, in order to truly elevate the Commission on Human Rights. The EU would favour establishing the Human Rights Council as a main free-standing charter body of the UN, linked to the GA, meeting throughout the year and reflecting, at the institutional level, the universality of human rights and their central position in the UN system, as well as the concern to place human rights on the same footing as issues of development, peace and security. Pending a decision the General Assembly might take on the establishment of such a body, the Human Rights Council should be established as a subsidiary body of the General Assembly, thus creating a link with a universal body. The EU supports the strengthening of gender equality in all UN activities.
10. The EU supports the development of co-operation between the United Nations and the regional organisations as an effective way to maximise efficiency in addressing the numerous challenges confronting the international community.
11. The EU recognises that management reform and modernisation of the UN Secretariat will be key to delivery of Summit outcomes and to enable the UN better to fulfil its mandate. In particular, the EU calls for greater accountability, transparency, professionalism and efficiency within the UN Secretariat and greater authority for the UN Secretary-General to allocate and redeploy resources within an overall budget and posts ceiling.
12. The EU also supports further structural reform of the UN development, humanitarian and environment systems and policies to improve system-wide coherence and effectiveness and promote sustainable development, and looks forward to working with all parties on specific proposals to strengthen environmental governance from the 60th UNGA. In this regard, the EU supports the launching of a process to establish a UN agency for the environment, based on UNEP, with a revised and strengthened mandate, supported by stable, adequate and predictable financial contributions and operating on an equal footing with other UN specialised agencies.
13. In the area of institutional reforms, the EU recognises the need to reform the main UN bodies, among them the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the Security Council, with a view to enhancing the representativeness, transparency and efficiency of the system.
14. The EU supports continued reform and revitalisation of the GA as a key element of the wider UN reform agenda. We will therefore support further rationalisation in the work of the GA Committees following the Summit. We will engage fully on areas that represent clear priorities in the UN agenda, including those where Summit follow-up action is needed. But on lower priorities, or on issues where leaders have already reached substantive Summit decisions, we are determined that in the wake of the Summit, the GA should not simply return to business as usual.
15. The EU supports a reform of the modus operandi of ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies to ensure that ECOSOC carries out its mandate more effectively. ECOSOC must better be able to promote global dialogue and partnership in the economic, social, environmental, and humanitarian fields. It must equally better promote coherent and co-ordinated approaches of the UN-system and has to play an important role in post-conflict situations.
Humanitarian assistance Top
16. The EU will support improvements in humanitarian response commitments to predictable funding, predictable capacity and standby arrangements, as well as safe and unimpeded access to vulnerable populations. The EU will stress the need to observe humanitarian principles and International Humanitarian Law.
UN Regular Budget for 2006-07 Top
17. The EU will seek to adopt a budget that will strengthen the UN in support of implementation of Millennium Declaration proposals and agreements reached at the 2005 Summit. The EU is committed to ensuring the availability of resources for the UN, while adhering to our long-standing principle of budgetary discipline to ensure effective management of resources.
Capital Master Plan Top
18. Given the urgency and the necessity of the renovation of the UN HQ in New York, the EU attaches great importance to the agreement of a comprehensive and coherent Capital Master Plan. The EU considers that decisions on this issue should be taken urgently."