EU Priorities for the 69th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations


Summary: 23 June 2014, Brussels - At its meeting on 23 June 2014, the Council of the European Union adopted the EU Priorities for the 69th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

During the 69th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA 69), in line with the EU's medium-term priorities at the United Nations (2012-2015) [1], the EU and/or its Member States will strongly focus on the following issues:

a) promotion of Peace and Security with a firm understanding that respect towards the spirit of the fundamental principles of the UN Charter is what holds the existing international system together;

b) follow-up and implementation of the Rio+20 outcome, including the work on SDGs and Sustainable Development financing; work on MDG acceleration, including following up to the outcome of the MDG September 2013 event; as well as work towards a coherent approach for a single overarching post-2015 development framework, also supportive of climate objectives;

c) promotion of Human Rights, democracy and the rule of law;

d) strengthening of the effectiveness of the UN; the support of the necessary reforms in key areas, such as management, peacekeeping, field support, and the financial sustainability of the Organisation;

e) strengthening of the international humanitarian system; promotion of humanitarian principles and relevant international law; preparation of the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit.

Efforts will be made, so that EU coordination, as well as EU positions and strategies in the different fields of UN activities will have been established well in advance. In this light, during UNGA 69, the EU and/or its Member States [2], as appropriate, will:


PEACE AND SECURITY

1. support the reinforcement of EU-UN operational cooperation in crisis management, also by working together with the UN on both sharing analyses (in order to come to a joint analysis) and planning (in order to facilitate the operational aspects);

2. continuously enhance support to UN peacekeeping, through a structured dialogue based on concrete needs and with a view to optimizing the use of available resources, which includes minimizing the environmental footprint of operations and maximizing the efficient use of natural resources;

3. promote improving the strategic and operational effectiveness of the UN Special Political Missions;

4. continue to support the preventive diplomacy capacity of the UN, including the efforts and initiatives in the field of mediation;

5. support initiatives related to the promotion of the use of peaceful settlement of disputes;

6. support efforts towards water and climate diplomacy for conflict prevention;

7. support the concept of protection of civilians, including by facilitating discussion at the UN on robust peacekeeping and on how best to assist governments in protecting their own civilians;

8. support the efforts for better coordination and cooperation within the UN peacebuilding architecture, as well as with other peacebuilding actors; for promoting coherence in the implementation of the New Deal for engagement in fragile and conflict-affected countries;

9. strive towards a more effective Peacebuilding Commission by fostering a greater coherence and coordination among the multiple international actors engaged in peacebuilding processes, especially a strengthened interaction between the Security Council and the Peacebuilding Commission, and contribute to the review of the UN peacebuilding architecture in 2015;

10. continue to promote the responsibility to protect, as defined in the World Summit Outcome Document and its further operationalisation, including prevention as an integral part of the responsibility to protect;

11. support the objectives of the UN initiative of the Alliance of Civilisations and, bearing in mind the four pillars of the UNAOC, will continue to support the Alliance's delivery of substantive projects with cross-cultural band;

12. continue to promote the concept of Human Security;

13. promote the implementation of resolutions related to Women, Peace and Security, in particular UNSC Resolution 1325, concerning enhanced participation of women in peace processes and the protection of women in conflict situations against violence, including sexual violence;

14. support efforts to enhance the protection of children in armed conflicts, including the campaign of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict "Children, Not Soldiers" to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children by Government armed forces in conflict by 2016;

15. support the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC), as well as the fight against impunity at the international and national levels, for the most serious crimes of international concern; promote the universality of the Rome Statute; address the issue of non-cooperating states and strengthen institutional dialogue between the UN and the ICC; support the work of other international courts and tribunals;

16. promote the effectiveness of the United Nations in supporting security sector reform;

17. support strengthening of the Rule of Law in all its dimensions, as a key factor in the maintenance of international peace and security, including the implementation and follow-up of the Declaration of the GA High Level Meeting on the Rule of Law at the national and international levels, as well as the activities of the UN Global Focal Point in the promotion of the Rule of Law;

18. support efforts to make the UN disarmament machinery properly functioning, including the revitalization of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) and work constructively towards its enlargement;

19. continue to call for an immediate launch of negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices;

20. support the early entry into force, universalisation, and full implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty;

21. support efforts to achieve an early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT);

22. work towards a successful outcome of the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, based on a balanced approach to take into account all the three pillars of the NPT;

23. continue to promote the effective implementation of, and full compliance with, Security Council resolution 1540;

24. promote the entry into force of the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material as amended and the further ratification and implementation of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism;

25. continue to support the establishment of a Middle East Zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, including the convening of an inclusive International Conference on the subject, in accordance with the decision of the 2010 NPT Review Conference;

26. support the IAEA in its efforts in international cooperation and continue to promote the universalisation of the nuclear safeguards regime (including the IAEA Additional Protocol), as well as the IAEA nuclear safety standards and nuclear security guidelines;

27. promote the effective follow-up to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) inter-sessional period topics and the outcomes of the Third Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) Review Conference, as well as promote the universality of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC);

28. promote the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) by further identifying areas of common interest and work to achieve the universality of the CCW;

29. promote the effective and full implementation of Security Council Resolution 2117 (2013) on Small Arms and Light Weapons, as well as the Outcome Document of the Second Review Conference on the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons, in the light of the decisions taken in June 2014 at the 5th biennial meeting of States on the Illicit Trade in Small and Light Arms (SALW);

30. promote capacity building for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear risk mitigation, in particular through EU regional CBRN Centres of Excellence, including the creation of a climate of awareness in scientific and academic circles of the importance of the information security in relation to WMD;

31. promote the universalisation of the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation and work towards broad support by UNGA for the biennial resolution in support of HCOC;

32. promote further consensus-building on an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities as a Transparency and Confidence Building Measure in Outer Space Activities, as endorsed in the 2013 report of the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE);

33. promote universal adherence to and effective implementation of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention and will work to increase support by UNGA for the annual resolution in support of the Convention;

34. promote the implementation of the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy in its four pillars and the enhanced participation in counter-terrorism activities and support and capitalize on international and regional efforts in this field, including the efforts of the Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF);

35. address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law as the fundamental basis of the fight against terrorism;

36. support the efforts of the UN Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) to enhance coordination and coherence of counter-terrorism activities of the United Nations system;

37. promote the effective and full implementation of Security Council Resolutions 1267, 1373, 1988 and 1989, and support the efforts of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) to bolster the ability of UN Member States to prevent terrorist acts both within their borders and across regions;

38. promote the implementation of and strengthen due process and fair and clear procedures in the UN sanctions regimes;

39. support the ratification process and the full and effective implementation of the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) and of the Protocols thereto, as well as of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC); promote the strengthening of international cooperation against organised crime;

40. promote the strengthening of international cooperation against piracy, and other forms of maritime crimes, in accordance with relevant UN provisions;

41. further enhance participation in the fight against serious organized crime and all illicit trafficking and smuggling;

42. support the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in leading an inclusive preparatory process for the UN Special Session on the world drug problem in 2016;

43. promote consensus-building for confidence and security building measures in cyber space.


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

1. intensify the efforts for meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, as a basis for a future post-2015 agenda;

2. ensure effective and coherent follow-up to and implementation of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) outcomes, including follow-up of the institutional aspects of the UN architecture on sustainable development, such as linkages between ECOSOC reform and the new High Level Political Forum (HLPF);

3. work towards a single overarching post-2015 framework, in line with the relevant Council Conclusions, that integrates the elaboration of Sustainable Development Goals, recognises the mutually reinforcing nature of poverty eradication and sustainable development, incorporates the three dimensions of sustainable development, ensures basic living standards, promotes the drivers of the green economy in the context of sustainable development and the sustainable use, management and protection of natural resources and the ecosystems they provide, ensures a rights-based approach and addresses justice, equality and equity, good governance, democracy and the rule of law, with a strong focus on the empowerment and rights of women and girls and gender equality, and on preventing and combating violence against women. It should also recognise the impossibility of achieving sustainable development in contexts of fragility, violence and armed conflict, and include peaceful societies and freedom from violence in the framework. The work towards this framework should also integrate all relevant international processes, including the efforts related to the final phase of the MDG process, the work of the Open Working Group for the elaboration of Sustainable Development Goals and the work of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing into one coherent process, while taking note of the work of the Secretary General's High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the UNSG report "A Life of Dignity for All" and the Synthesis report by the UNSG due in 2014;

4. address climate change, following Cancun, Durban and Doha Climate Conferences, and support the UNSG’s Climate Summit in September 2014 with a view to supporting the debate at the Lima’s Conference and adopting by 2015 a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties, developed and developing alike, and raising the current level of mitigation ambition between now and 2020;

5. promote the implementation of decisions as taken within the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, including addressing biodiversity loss, following the Nagoya and Hyderabad CBD Conferences, aiming at implementing the Aichi targets, applicable to all countries, developed and developing alike, and within the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, addressing issues related to desertification, land degradation and drought;

6. conduct effective outreach in order to ensure that the future post-2015 agenda reflects a vision shared by all stakeholders;

7. promote increased attention to the problems faced by the LDCs and fragile countries, especially during the implementation process of the Istanbul Plan of Action, the SIDS (with special attention to the 3rd International Conference on SIDS), and the LLDCs (with special attention to the 10-year Landlocked Developing Countries Review Conference) and the MICs, where more than 70 per cent of the world’s poor people live;

8. promote a common and comprehensive approach to financing for development beyond 2015, taking into account likewise the role of the different financing sources, including ODA (including innovative sources of financing) and the work of the Sustainable Development Financing Committee;

9. promote science, technology and innovation (STI) as essential enablers and drivers for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the promotion of sustainable development in all its dimensions, as well as an important component of the post-2015 development agenda. In this context the debate on technology should be geared towards ensuring a coherent approach to this issue across different UN work streams, taking into account existing mechanisms, avoiding duplication and promoting synergies between them;

10. help further strengthen the role of UNEP, as a central platform for environment issues within the UN system and beyond, with the universal UN Environment Assembly as the central platform for environment within the UN system and beyond;

11. promote green economy, including, among others, through the involvement of the private sector and civil society in the transformation process;

12. increase efforts against wildlife crime and illegal logging and promote improved forest governance, as well as the reduction of deforestation and forest degradation;

13. promote the empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication and sustainable development with an emphasis on social integration, growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, including fair wages, in particular through trade and capacity-building and with special emphasis on sustainable urban development; establish and maintain national social protection floors comprising basic social security guarantees such as access to essential health care, to quality education including vocational training and to basic income security, according to ILO recommendation No. 202;

14. address the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction, in particular with the view to take a decision on the development of an international instrument under UNCLOS in this respect, before the end of the 69th UNGA Session;

15. give special attention to sustainable agriculture, food security and the fight against malnutrition, ensuring close linkage between humanitarian and development actions;

16. ensure that water–energy nexus is approached in a balanced manner to support sustainable economic, social and environmental development;

17. address chronic vulnerabilities of affected populations by ensuring, inter alia, close linkage between humanitarian and development actions and building community safety and resilience to disasters and conflicts, taking into account the preparations of the post 2015 Hyogo Framework for Action;

18. ensure a rights-based approach encompassing all human rights; also address justice, equality and equity, good governance, democracy and the rule of law, with a strong focus on the empowerment and rights of women and girls and gender equality, and on preventing and combating violence against women as essential preconditions for equitable and inclusive sustainable development, as well as important values and objectives in themselves; remain committed to the promotion, protection and fulfilment of all human rights and to the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the outcomes of their review conferences and in this context sexual and reproductive health and rights;

19. further promote effective cooperation on well-managed migration in the context of sustainable development, taking into account the progress made in the High Level Dialogue on Migration (HLD) and Development and the Global Forum on Migration and Development;

20. follow up on the outcome of the High-Level Meeting on Disabilities and Development and on the outcomes of the High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation in April 2014;

21. highlight the special role of education in the global sustainable development process;

22. support inclusion of youth in addressing global issues.


HUMAN RIGHTS

1. remain committed to a strong and effective multilateral human rights system, to the promotion and protection of the universal, indivisible, interrelated, interdependent and mutually reinforcing nature of all Human Rights and continuing to promote the EU Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, as well as the 2014 Council conclusions on the EU priorities at the UN Human Rights Fora;

2. speak out against human rights violations worldwide and support human rights defenders;

3. continue to participate actively, through statements and interventions, as well as by introducing (in close cooperation with other countries) thematic and country-specific initiatives, promoting accountability for human rights violations, and targeting key human rights concerns including:

a. efforts towards the abolition of death penalty, including by working once again with a cross regional group of states to present a resolution on a moratorium on the death penalty with a view to obtaining an increasing number of votes and cosponsors;

b. engagement on Freedom of Religion or Belief with third countries with the aim at reaffirming and further developing the acquis of EU-tabled UNGA and HRC resolutions;

c. freedom of expression, including in media and on the internet, as well as the freedom of assembly and the freedom of association;

d. addressing the rights of LGBTI people whilst promoting the elimination of discriminatory legislation and targeted acts of violence;

e. combating all forms of violence, including gender-based violence, Female Genital Mutilation, child, early and forced marriage, rape and sexual violence during conflict;

f. combating gender-based discrimination and efforts to curtail women’s and girl’s enjoyment of human rights with references to culture, traditions, stereotypical roles within families, promote the full and effective implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the outcomes of their review conferences and in this context sexual and reproductive health and rights, to enhance gender equality and women's empowerment;

g. combating torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

h. promoting the Elimination of all forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related intolerance, and paying close attention to the Durban follow-up for further improvements of the resolution as well as continuing to closely follow the resolution on combating glorification of Nazism: inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and will remain watchful against the use of human rights mechanisms to pursue issues, which are not part of the human rights agenda;

i. promoting the realization of the rights of the child, including through a revised version of the omnibus resolution, and of the rights of youth;

j. promoting the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities and ensure the participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in all fields of action;

k. promoting the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples and participating actively in the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples to be held in the Ministerial Week in 2014;

l. promoting the realization of all Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, including the Human Right to safe drinking water and sanitation and the Right to Food, as components of the Right to an adequate standard of living;

4. continue to support the strengthening of the human rights treaty body system, so that it would be in a better position to address the increased number of ratifications and reports in a more timely and effective manner, and provide sustainability with regards future developments, while respecting the competences and autonomy of the various stakeholders;

5. continue paying particular attention to the shrinking space for Non-Governmental Organisations and increasing pressure on Human Rights defenders in many countries;

6. promote the implementation of the UN guiding principles on Business and Human Rights among states and businesses;

7. avoid the duplication of the work, while increasing the complementarity and close collaboration between the Third Committee and the HRC.


STRENGTHENING THE UN

1. promote a reform of the methodology for re-costing the UN Regular Budget;

2. call for continued action on the 2012 GA mandate for a review of possible obsolete activities and of staffing requirements, particularly as the 2016/17 Regular Budget is prepared;

3. monitor capital expenditure plans, in particular the Strategic Heritage Plan in Geneva, while ensuring that budgets are kept under control and lessons learnt from the Capital Master Plan;

4. carefully consider before agreeing or promoting calls for extra activities which will result in extra assessed resources for PBI's, in order to avoid unnecessary increases in resources for low priority activities;

5. further promote the revitalization of the General Assembly, including through improving the working methods of the UNGA, its committees and subsidiary organs to achieve greater efficiency;

6. seek a more structured, coherent and cost-effective process for proclaiming international days, years and decades and resist proliferation additional international days, weeks and years;

7. continue to promote the reform of the UN System and of its bodies and organs, including the comprehensive reform of the Security Council, the reform and strengthening of ECOSOC, the "Delivering as one" model, and the implementation of the QCPR, with the aim to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, accountability and representativeness of the system;

8. continue to support the UN System's efforts to work more effectively with gender equality and women's empowerment issues, including the implementation of the System-Wide Action Plan for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment and its incorporation in i.a. Delivering as One actions, in order to promote real results and improvements in the lives of women and girls, men and boys in partner countries;

9. continue to support the UNSG's management reform agenda, while being prepared to offer constructive criticism of proposals where necessary;

10. encourage the UNSG to implement managed mobility within the scope and timescale agreed by the GA;

11. encourage the UNSG to do more on Human Resources, i.a on developing robust ways to improve performance management by December 2014, as mandated by the GA. Press the ICSC to recognise funding constraints and simplify as part of their review of the staff remuneration package;

12. remind UN Secretariat of the need to report fully on long term accommodation needs and look carefully to all options;

13. encourage the reinforcement of the cooperation between the UN and Regional International Organisations.


HUMANITARIAN ISSUES

1. continue to promote the respect for humanitarian principles and to advocate for International Humanitarian Law, for Human Rights Law, and for Refugee Law; continue to promote an overall effective delivery of humanitarian assistance, notably by the ongoing strengthening of the UN humanitarian system and transformative agenda, through advocacy for the necessary humanitarian space that is needed to access vulnerable populations; and work towards a strong resolution on strengthening coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the UN, as well as a strong resolution on the safety and security of humanitarian personnel;

2. taking into account the IASC statement on centrality of protection in humanitarian settings, continue to promote the concept of humanitarian protection;

3. continue to advocate for an inclusive preparatory process leading to the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, involving a wide range of stakeholders including the civil society and private sector.


ANNEX to the Annex


STATEMENT BY MALTA

re Paragraph 16e (doc. 11656/13)

"The post 2015 process should indeed be based on a single comprehensive and coherent framework as this is imperative to achieve effective delivery and significant results at all levels.

Malta reiterates its position that any recommendation or commitment made by the European Union related to the Overarching Post 2015 Agenda should not in any way create an obligation on any party to consider abortion as a legitimate form of reproductive health or rights or commodities."


STATEMENT BY HUNGARY

"The adoption of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action marked a remarkable consensus. They placed the enjoyment of human rights at the heart of development and important gains in the fields of health, gender equality and education have been achieved since their adoption.

Hungary remains dedicated to its commitments in the field of human rights and to the implementation of the Programme of Action and Platform for Action as primary points of reference to the terms of sexual health, reproductive health and reproductive rights. As the term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” remains undefined, Hungary can only interpret “sexual and reproductive health and rights” in line with its national legislation."

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[1] Doc. 9820/1/12 REV1, PESC 583 CONUN 68 ONU 56 COHOM 99 DEVGEN 132 ENV 349 COJUR 11 CODUN 23 CONOP 86 COTER 49 CODRO 1 COSDP 388 CRIMORG 52.

[2] The implementation of the priorities will involve action both at the level of the EU itself and, in the areas falling within their responsibility, its Member States.