The United Nations in Brussels published in September a new report on the partnership of the UN and the European Union. Antonio Vigilante, the director of the United Nations Brussels Office explains why the UN-EU partnership is a source of good news:
“It is our pleasure to launch our sixth annual UN-EU Partnership Report “Improving Lives: Partnership between the United Nations and the European Union in 2010”. As in previous years, the report captures results of the cooperation between the UN and the EU in the 110 or more countries where we work jointly. This year we have gone for an e-book format with a more graphic representation of the variety and depth of our shared activities on the ground. Enjoy the reading at: www.unbrussels.org/report2010
At the heart of this UN-EU partnership is a shared commitment to the Millennium Development Goals, including notably the MDG 8 – Global Partnership for Development. Together, the UN and the EU are determined to meet the needs of the world’s most vulnerable people, combatting world poverty, tackling climate change and helping people secure their human rights are respected and fulfilled. The vibrant UN-EU collaboration spans all three pillars of the work of the UN – peace and security, human rights and development. This report focuses particularly on this last pillar – development and humanitarian cooperation. It shows that by working together, the UN and the EU have been able to achieve much more than either could have done working separately.
In 2010, the partnership tackled humanitarian crises in Haiti and Pakistan, among others. Working hand in hand, the EU and the UN supported the protection of 15 million refugees and many more internally displaced people while it guaranteed education to over 500,000 Palestine refugee children. We also intervened rapidly and smoothly in 30 countries that faced humanitarian disasters last year by delivering food assistance. Through our joint work 30 million children under the age of five got essential nutrients.
The EU-UN partnership touched millions of lives through decent employment opportunities that help secure social inclusion and combat poverty, through a better access of pregnant women to health services during their pregnancies as well as through education for girls and for children in crisis zones. We helped countries improving infrastructure that allowed people to get to markets or to hospital. Last year, we supported food security and agricultural productivity in 35 countries and together we improved environmental conditions in 24 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. Thanks to the support of the partnership in elections in 2010, more than 63 million people worldwide registered to vote in electoral processes. In the spirit of ownership and because it is only the countries’ own efforts that secure sustainable results, strengthening the capacity of national institutions and civil societies was and is a leitmotif of the cooperation,” writes Mr. Antonio Vigilante, director of the UN Brussels Office.
The UN Secretary-General, the President of the EU Commission and the EU´s High Representative for Foreign Policy all write prefaces to the report. Excerpts:
"Our collective promise to meet the urgent needs of the world's most vulnerable people ... is at the heart of the collaboration ... This report illustrates how our partnership is making an impact where it counts most: in the lives of people."
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General
"European taxpayers increasingly demand accountability and need to see that the funds spent on their behalf result in aid that is high in quality, impact and value for money. This report demonstrates this very tangibly..."
José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission
"In challenging and uncertain times such as these, strong global partnerships are particularly important. The EU-UN partnership has repeatedly proven its worth."
Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 155, Block C2,7th and 8th floor, Brussels 1040, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 788 8484 / Fax: 32 2 788 8485