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European Commission - Press release

Boosting Multilateralism: President Juncker and a high-level EU delegation at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly Ministerial week

Brussels, 21 September 2018

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, with a high-level delegation of the European Union will be in New York next week for the Ministerial week of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly.

The EU representatives will host and participate in a large number of events and meet with world leaders, in line with the European Union's steadfast commitment to strive for a strong and effective United Nations and build support for multilateralism and a rules-based global order.

As President Juncker said in his 2018 State of the Union Speech on 12 September: "Europe will never be a fortress, turning its back on the world or those suffering within it. Europe is not an island. It must and will champion multilateralism. The world we live in belongs to all and not a select few."

President Jean-Claude Juncker and High Representative Federica Mogherini will kick-off the week on Sunday, 23 September, with a bilateral meeting with UN Secretary General António Guterres, reconfirming the strategic EU-UN partnership. Together, they will also meet with African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat to discuss how to take forward the work of the innovative EU-UN-AU trilateral cooperation.

President Juncker will address the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit on Monday, 24 September, a high-level meeting on global peace in honour of the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela.

On Tuesday, President Juncker, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini will join the President of the European Council Donald Tusk for the opening of the 73rd General Assembly. President Tusk will address the General Assembly on behalf of the EU on Thursday, 27 September.

EU Flagship events during the week

The EU will host or co-host a number of flagship events in the margins of the General Assembly:

  • Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will co-chair the First Ministerial meeting of the Alliance for Torture-Free Trade on Monday, 24 September. The Members of the Alliance, almost 60 countries, will take stock of progress to ban the trade in goods used for torture and the death penalty. More countries will join the Alliance at the event, and members will discuss how to launch work towards a binding United Nations convention to ban this trade.
  • On Tuesday, 25 September, First Vice-President Timmermans will co-host with the UN Environment Programme an event on "Fighting Plastic Pollution: A Global Race to the Top", which will encourage governments around the world to follow the EU's lead and tackle this cross-border challenge. The EU is at the forefront of the global transition towards a more circular economy, transforming how products are designed, produced, used, and recycled in a way that is positive for our environment and boosts our industry's competitiveness.
  • The same day, High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini will convene the Global Tech Panel, launched in May 2018 and bringing together global leaders from private sector and civil society, with the aim to foster new types of cooperation between diplomacy and technology.
  • The EU will host a fifth high-level event on the Syria crisis on 26 September, chaired by High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini and Commissioner Christos Stylianides, reaffirming EU and international support to a political solution to the Syria conflict and address the humanitarian and resilience needs of those affected by the crisis inside Syria and across the region.
  • On the same day, Commissioner Stylianides will co-host the event "Under cross-fire: the protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian law", together with Belgium and OCHA.
  • On 27 September, High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini will, together with EU Special Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis, launch the "Good Human Rights Stories" initiative, promoting a positive narrative on human rights in the world, in view of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Also on 27 September, High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini and Commissioner Neven Mimica will launch the next phase of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, aimed at eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls: the Latin America programme with a special focus on femicide. The same day, Commissioner Stylianides will co-host the Call to Action on gender-based violence in emergency situations.

Other high-level events of the week

EU representatives will have a full agenda of high-level debates and side events, as well as numerous bilateral meetings:

  • On 24 September, High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini will chair an informal meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers, with Syria and Libya on the agenda. The same day, she will also chair a ministerial meeting of the E3/EU+2 and Iran on the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Iran nuclear deal.
  • First Vice-President Timmermans, along with President Tusk and High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini, will be opening the annual EU reception on Wednesday, 26 September.
  • On 26 September, the European Union will be represented by Vice-Presidents Maroš Šefčovič andValdis Dombrovskis, as well as Commissioner Mimica at the One Planet Summit – a follow-up event to accelerate the implementation of the Paris climate targets. Prior to that First Vice-President Timmermans, Vice-Presidents Šefčovič andDombrovskis, as well as Commissioner Pierre Moscovici and Margarethe Vestager will attend the Bloomberg Global Business Forum.
  • Vice-President Andrus Ansip will participate in the annual meeting of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development.
  • Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis will represent the EU at the High-Level meetings related to health, on the Prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and on Tuberculosis.
  • On 26 September, High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn will meet with leaders from the Western Balkans over a working dinner. Commissioner Hahn will on 25 September also host a working breakfast with the Foreign Ministers from the region.
  • Commissioner Avramopoulos will address an event hosted by the UN Refugee Agency on the Global Compact on Refugees on 24 September, and on 26 September speak at an event on the Global Compact on Migration.
  • High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini and Commissioner Hahn will co-host on 27 September a ministerial meeting on the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine. The same day High Representative/Vice-President Mogherini and Commissioner Mimica will represent the EU in the High Level Meeting on Somalia. Commissioner Mimica will alsorepresent the EU at a ministerial meeting on the Central Africa Republic.
  • On 28 September, Commissioner Mimica will officially launch the negotiations with the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) on a new partnership agreement, which will succeed the Cotonou Agreement.

The entire agenda of the individual EU representatives can be found on their websites.

For More Information

Press and audio-visual material will be available on EEASEuropa and Consilium.

Join the conversation online on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #UNGA, #EU and follow @EUatUN and the Commissioner's accounts for live updates throughout the week.

Factsheet: The EU at the United Nations

Factsheet: EU – UN Partnership: Facts and Figures

Council Conclusion on EU priorities at the United Nations and the 73rd United Nations General Assembly


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General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email

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