Remarks by Ambassador Christoph Heusgen in the Security Council VTC meeting on the cooperation between the UN and the EU, May 28 , 2020

28.05.2020 - Speech

Check Against Delivery

I welcome Josep Borrell. To see you here is a bit emotional for me because I had the pleasure to work for your first predecessor, your countryman Javier Solana, between 1999 and 2005 as the head of his policy unit, and it was wonderful to work for the European Union. Let me say that I subscribe to everything that you said in your statement.

In the previous statement, José [Singer Weisinger, PR Dominican Republic] just mentioned the Schuman Declaration, which was one of the key moments of European unification after the Second World War. To see where we stand today, 75 years after the Second World War in Europe, you have to go back to 1870. When you look at the 75 years between 1870 and 1945, we had three major wars in Europe, two of which were world wars. The time since 1945 has been the most peaceful period in Europe's history. Therefore, the European Union is really a historic achievement.

The European Union was made strong by the rule of law and the strength of the rule of law, not the law of the strongest. Conflicts in Europe are resolved peacefully at the European Court of Justice. This is also how we want the UN to succeed. We are deeply convinced that the United Nations can achieve the same. That means that we actually do our job in the Security Council and resolve conflicts through peaceful means, respect the rule of law, the Charter of the UN, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and resolutions by the Security Council, which, according to the Charter, are legally binding. It also means that we respect the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, the International Maritime Court, and that we respect human rights.

Unfortunately, we are not there yet, and we are actually in a very critical phase. Speakers before me mentioned that. The invasion by Russia of the Ukraine and the violation of the sovereignty of an independent country violates the UN Charter and shows that we still have the rule of the of the strongest.

We unfortunately see a lot of disrespect for Security Council resolutions over the last few years when you look at the Middle East and Libya. As we discussed yesterday, countries are even open about their supply of weapons and mercenaries to Libya in violation of binding international law of Security Council resolutions that have been adopted here. 

Let me also turn to something that is one of the masterpieces of European diplomacy: the JCPOA on nuclear proliferation. We regret very much that the United States has left the JCPOA. I can only echo what Josep Borell just said with regard to the regret that Germany expressed for not prolonging the waivers for JCPOA-related nuclear projects. Since the US left the JCPOA, the region has not become safer and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is not more closely observed. Violations of human rights and the rights of minorities persist. The freedom of assembly and expression are violated. Also, when we look at Hong Kong, we see that the freedom of assembly, the freedom of expression, and the right to a democratic debate as guaranteed in the basic law are now put under pressure. We regret this.

Let me echo those who have discussed the participation of women: 1325 is still not implemented. The EU is very interested in the UN, wants to strengthen multilateralism and work together with other regional organizations. The European Union and its member states are the strongest, the largest, the biggest supporters of the UN when it comes to financial means. After COVID-19, the biggest part of the socio-economic package has been provided by the European Union and its member states.

The close cooperation between EU and ASEAN was also mentioned, and I would like to refer to what our colleague from Niger speaking for the three African countries plus Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have said about the cooperation between the EU and African Union. The EU is a very strong supporter with three missions to support the G5 Sahel, we continue to do that.

Let me end by recalling what was said with regard to how we achieve peace and security in the Sahel region. It has to do with good governance, respect for human rights, and democracy. This is essential for peace and development. So, dear colleagues, let's not use the Security Council for propaganda. Let's use the Security Council to implement what is in the Charter and work for the common good.


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