Summary: 4 May 2011, Brussels - On 3 May 2011 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution upgrading the status of the European Union's participation in the United Nations 192-member body. "The EU will have its voice in the General Assembly", said President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, "The EU has achieved an important recognition as a global actor at the United Nations."
The resolution (A/65/276) on the participation of the EU in the work of the UN was adopted by 180 UN Member States. Syria and Zimbabwe abstained and 10 countries did not vote. It will allow senior EU representatives to present the common positions of the Union to the Assembly.
In addition, the EU representatives will have the right to make interventions during sessions and to be invited to participate in the general debate of the General Assembly. It also permits EU communications relating to the sessions and work of the Assembly to be circulated directly as documents of the Assembly.
Furthermore, EU representatives will also have the right to present proposals and amendments agreed by EU Member States. They will not, however, be able to challenge decisions of the Assembly's presiding officer.
EU representatives will also be able to exercise the right of reply concerning the positions of the EU. They will be seated among the observers, but they will not have the right to vote or to put forward candidates.
See the UN's press release: General Assembly, in Recorded Vote, Adopts Resolution Granting European Union Right of Reply, Ability to Present Oral Amendments http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/ga11079.doc.htm
For the Official UN Documents, see the UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Participation of the European Union in the work of the United Nations: http://www.unric.org/en/unric-library/26803.