This report portrays the increasingly dynamic and concrete partnership of the United Nations and the European Union in our efforts to improve the lives of millions of people around the globe.
The UN and the EU are natural partners. We share the same values and objectives: respect for human rights and the rule of law; equal access to development opportunities for all; the peaceful resolution of disputes. We are engaged across the international agenda, from peace and security to democratization, from humanitarian assistance to environmental protection. While the partnership adds value at the policy level, our overarching intent is to translate these norms into practical realities – above all for the poorest and most vulnerable members of the human family.
The interwoven global threats and challenges facing us in the twenty-first century demand a renewed multilateralism that provides effective collective responses to issues that no one nation or regional grouping can tackle in isolation. Today’s growing UN-EU cooperation on peace and security is the necessary complement to our longstanding joint work on development and humanitarian assistance. Critically, this cooperation has expanded beyond crisis management to include conflict prevention and peacebuilding as well.
In September 2010, I will convene a summit to review progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and, in particular, to formulate an agenda for action to accelerate progress towards reaching the goals by the agreed deadline of 2015. I am pleased to note that the Lisbon Treaty embraces the reduction and long-term eradication of poverty as a primary objective of the development cooperation policy of the European Union.
This report highlights an array of results achieved by the UN and the EU in more than 100 countries. To cite just three examples, in 2009, the partnership made it possible to support the education of 2.2 million children, immunize over 8 million children and help 8 countries to hold free and fair elections – around 88 million valid votes were cast in these elections. I am grateful for the EU support that made these achievements and the many others recounted in this publication possible, and I look forward to continued cooperation in the years to come.