AFET/DROI/SEDE meet with UN Secretary General in New York and hold consultations with the US Congress in Washington, DC
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AFET/DROI/SEDE meet with UN Secretary General in New York and hold consultations with the US Congress in Washington, DC

MEPs expressed great support for the process of reforms initiated by UN Secretary General António Guterres. In Washington, they held talks on the future of transatlantic relations.

A delegation of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and its sub-Committees on, respectively, Security and Defence (SEDE) and Human Rights (DROI), chaired by David McAllister (EPP, DE) held meetings with high-level United Nations interlocutors in New York on avenues to promote and consolidate rules-based multilateralism and reinforce the UN System (28-29 October). The delegation was composed of 17 Members, among whom SEDE Chair Nathalie Loiseau (RE, FR) and DROI Chair Maria Arena (S&D, BE). The delegation held meetings in Washington, DC, with the US Congress and the US Administration on Transatlantic dialogue and cooperation.

At the United Nations Members held consultations with the UN Secretary General António Guterres, Under-Secretary General Fabrizio Hochschild, Special Advisor to the Secretary General for the 75th Anniversary, Under-Secretary General Mark Lowcock for Humanitarian Affairs and Relief Coordinator, as well as representatives of other relevant UN policy areas. Members also held consultations with the Permanent Representatives of the EU and of EU Member States that are currently on the UN Security Council or will be.

Members expressed great support for the process of reforms initiated by UN Secretary General António Guterres. A more agile, focussed and responsive UN will allow the possibility to address swiftly crises and prevent conflict. It would also further reinforce the perception at large of the essential importance of rules-based multilateralism and the need to pursue consensus amongst the international community and avoid fragmentation.

Members praised the very good efforts of the EU and its Member States to remain a cohesive and effective group in the UN system and in the UNSC with one message and policy stance on behalf of the EU. They also praised the efforts of the EU and its Member States to reach out to like-minded States in the UN System. In this regard, Members expressed support for the ongoing reflection on ways to reinforce the UN Security Council and its capacity to deliver on crisis and conflict resolution.
David Mc Allister, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs stated: “The EU and its Member States have a responsibility to support the process of reforms and foster a context of dialogue and cooperation in the UN system amongst like-minded countries and put in all efforts against policy and political fragmentation. The UN should not be a venue for polarisation and should continue to provide an opportunity for the international community at large to achieve consensus.” The Chair of the delegation added: “As the UN celebrate their 75th anniversary, the Committee on Foreign Affairs and its sub-Committees will increase their cooperation with the UN and UN issues will be high on the Committee’s agenda.”

In Washington, DC, the delegation met with Members of US Congress and Administration to map out the future of transatlantic relations and to set the tone for a positive and fruitful interaction during the next parliamentary term.

The delegation of 17 MEPs met representatives of the 116th US Congress, where both reconfirmed their across-the- board support for deep and productive transatlantic cooperation on a number of foreign policy issues.

Meetings at the State Department, the National Security Council, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the US Trade Representative Office revealed that despite some differences, cooperation between the EU and the US is crucial and mutually beneficial on a number of fronts, such as energy and information security, defence, the promotion of human rights and democratic values across the world, and trade, including on China. Meetings showed pronounced interest in deeper foreign policy dialogue on both sides, with particular reference to the Western Balkans, the Middle East, and Venezuela.

Europe is important and strong, and therefore a necessary and desirable partner for the US, was one of the key messages conveyed during the delegation.