UN Chief António Guterres Prefers a United Europe

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (file)
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré (file)

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres observed Wednesday that the European Union’s contribution is essential for the United Nations.

This, he said, is required from support to peacekeeping to protecting human rights, solving conflicts, advancing the agenda for sustainable development and fighting climate change.

“A strong and united Europe is an absolutely fundamental pillar of a strong and effective United Nations,” Mr. Guterres told the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

Addressing a number of issues, including Syria, migration, globalization and the need to preserve cultural diversity, the Secretary-General laid out his reform priorities to ensure the UN is closer to the aspirations of the people it is serving.

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According to a UN report, Mr. Guterres also stressed the need for Governments, local authorities, civil society and religious authorities to foster social cohesion, inclusivity and tolerance.

On his way to Strasbourg, the Secretary-General had met with new French President Emmanuel Macron. They discussed peace and security issues, as well as issues related to sustainable development and climate change.

The UN chief said he looked forward to working with the French President on all pressing issues, noting France’s key role as a pillar of multilateralism, the UN report said.

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Rakesh Raman