On the occasion of the United Nations Day, commemorated every year on 24 October, the European Union reaffirms its partnership with the United Nations in promoting peace and security. This year’s UN Day marks an important milestone – the 75th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter in San Francisco.
Over the last decades, the EU and the UN have been working very closely together in promoting and upholding peace and security, defending human rights, contributing to sustainable development and the fight against climate change.
The UN remains the EU’s main multilateral partner and key strategic counterpart in the area of peace and security. Both organisations are committed to contributing to conflict prevention, peacebuilding and effectively responding to global and emerging threats. In addition to the important political dialogues and joint actions in this field, the EU is supporting the UN’s peace and security architecture. The EU’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments provides targeted funding to the UN Peacebuilding Fund and the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs. This helps ensuring that the organisation has the right tools and is well equipped to respond effectively to conflict prevention challenges around the world. Direct EU support is also provided to the UN Standby Team of Senior Mediators, which allows to rapidly deploy mediation-support to address fragile situations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that global challenges can be tackled only through global coordinated action, not only in the field of peace and security, but also in other important areas.
The EU has been working very closely together with UN agencies in addressing some of the emerging challenges caused by the current health crisis.
For instance, in the area of human rights, the EU supports through its Partnership Instrument the ‘Business and Human Rights in Asia’ project implemented by UNDP. The project aims to strengthen human rights conditions in business operations and supply chains, facilitating sustainable economic growth while promoting multilateralism. One of the concrete results which already helps companies to assess and manage the human rights impact of their operations during and after the COVID-19 crisis is the Human Rights Due Diligence Rapid self-assessment tool. This toolkit is now available in 10 languages and has had a wide uptake by multinational companies, business associations and individual companies operating in the region. The tool lists a number of actions that are based on the UN Human Rights Treaties, the International Labour Organisation Fundamental Conventions, and the UN Guiding Principles.
Equally, in the area of gender equality, the EU work closely with UN Women and the International Labour Organization to create sustainable, inclusive, and equitable global growth through increased women’s economic empowerment and leadership. A series of webinars highlighting the importance of financing which empowers women and supports women’s businesses recently gathered together important stakeholders and private sector representatives. Also, numerous resources featuring the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on gender equality are available on the project website.
These joint EU-UN actions are having a tangible impact on people’s lives, bettering living and economic conditions, creating equal opportunities, harnessing human rights and contributing to sustainable green solutions at global level.
The Partnership Instrument