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José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European Commission
Remarks by President Barroso following his meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
Brussels, 2 April 2014
Good morning ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to welcome once again the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon here at the European Commission. As always, it was a very productive meeting and I'm really impressed by the great degree of convergence between the United Nations and the European Union in the most important matters of the international agenda.
First of all, we discussed Africa. We are very pleased that the Secretary General has decided to attend the Summit as guest of honour. As in many other global and international issues the EU and the UN work hand in hand and our goals and aspirations are clearly aligned.
In particular, there is great potential for cooperation between the European Union and the United Nations in the field of peace and security. We share the same vision, to empower our African partners to deal with the problems facing their countries and our actions are complementary from Mali to Central African Republic, from Guinea-Bissau to Sudan.
In the past ten years we have mobilised 1.2 billion euros for the African Peace Facility and I am glad that today I'll be able to inform that over the next three years an additional 800 million euros will be put at the service of this African Peace Facility. This is just a concrete example of the work we are doing to promote some of the goals that we share with the United Nations in Africa.
The situation in Central African Republic is indeed high on our agendas. We have discussed that in detail with the Secretary General. In few hours, we will meet with our partners in what we have called a "Mini-Summit" to discuss the situation in the country, which has severely deteriorated since March last year, despite the African and European efforts to stabilise the situation. We, at the European Commission, continued to mobilize development aid to help the populations and improve their security since then. And a development package of 100 million euros is under preparation, notably in the areas of education, health and food security/nutrition and a support for the organization of the elections. I am also glad that the process of force generation of our Mission to Central African Republic has been concluded and we will deploy soon European military personnel.
Today we also had the chance to discuss the Post-2015 Agenda. We have a crucial opportunity ahead of us to deliver effectively on the challenges of poverty eradication and sustainable development. As you know we see these issues very much together. All countries will have to contribute to this shared vision. Therefore it was very useful to discuss this topic today with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and to underline the strong common ground between us.
We also discussed international climate action. I welcome that the Secretary General will convene a leaders' summit on climate policy in September in New York, which will no doubt inject important momentum into the talks on a global, binding climate treaty to be concluded 2015.
The EU and the Commission in particular will remain at the forefront of these efforts, as recognized by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in one of the last meetings we had at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
This EU's 2030 climate and energy framework, which the Commission is spearheading and the outline of which was endorsed by the European Council ten days ago, will underpin this European "leadership by example".
We really believe it is important that we commit globally. Recently I had the opportunity to discuss these matters here in Brussels with President Obama and President Xi of China. I believe it is critically important that these countries, as the two most important global emitters, can also show leadership. We very much appreciate the efforts they are doing, mainly domestically, but we believe it's also important that internationally they show leadership so that they can have a success for the global community and for the future of our planet.
I hope that our ambition, the ambition the European Commission stated, to cut emissions 40% by 2030, compared to 1990, will encourage other leading economies to come forward and make similar commitments to secure a global deal next year.
A final word on Ukraine, which we also discussed. The situation in Ukraine is the most serious challenge to peace and security in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall. But it is not just Europe that is concerned but the whole international community.
What happened was a clear violation of the principles of international law. The recent votes in the Security Council and in the General Assembly of the UN demonstrated that this is not going to be accepted.
We hope that through dialogue and cooperation all the concerns are addressed, we hope that direct talks between Moscow and Kiev can start very soon.
Dear Secretary General,
You can count on the European Commission and the European Union to support your efforts in the United Nations, to support a stronger UN which can bridge divides in the international community and demonstrate its capacity to face global challenges.
The leadership of the United Nations is more than ever necessary in this very unpredictable world. You can count on our support for your efforts towards a fairer and peaceful world.
Thank you for your attention.