Thank you for organizing this timely debate on the cooperation between the United Nations and the European Union. I would also like to thank the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, for his presentation.
Chapter VIII of the UN Charter underlines the importance of the work of regional organisations in maintaining peace and security. Thanks to their expertise, they play a key role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. We therefore welcome the cooperation between the UN and regional organisations, such as the African Union, ASEAN, the League of Arab States, the OSCE, and of course with the European Union, our immediate neighbour.
"United in diversity": this motto of the European Union resonates with the fundamental values of the United Nations. The Charter invites us to "practice tolerance [...] and join forces to maintain international peace and security". This same motto reflects the identity of Switzerland, a country with four national languages. We also share with the EU the vision of an international order based on international law and effective multilateralism.
Today's exchange comes at a time when multilateralism is under pressure.
It is therefore all the more relevant to recall the values that unite us. The High Representative's appeal to the General Assembly for a just and lasting peace in Ukraine reflects the commitment of the EU and its members to the UN Charter and respect for its principles. Switzerland shares this commitment and recalls that respect for these principles is in the interest of all of Europe and the world as a whole.
The commitment to peace, sustainable development and human rights guides the United Nations, the European Union and Swiss foreign policy. This common ground is reflected in close cooperation in various contexts and thematic agendas. By way of illustration, I would like to highlight three points:
Firstly, we welcome the joint efforts of the European Union and of the United Nations to promote peace and prevent armed conflicts in the world. We welcome the emphasis in these efforts on respect for international law, as for example in the tripartite project of the African Union, the EU and the UN on the "Human Rights Compliance Framework" for peacekeeping operations. In the Western Balkans, the EU plays a key role in the implementation of Security Council mandates. This is particularly true of the EUFOR Althea operation, to which Switzerland contributes. In a transversal way, the EU is an important partner in promoting the "Women, Peace and Security" agenda in the different contexts on the agenda of this Council.
Secondly, like the EU, we pay particular attention to the protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian law. In particular, we are making efforts for the protection of children in armed conflicts, as well as persons hors de combat such as the wounded and sick, whether in Ukraine, Syria or elsewhere. We support justice for all victims and are committed to the fight against impunity because we know that there can be no lasting peace without accountability.
Thirdly, the conviction that security risks must be addressed in a broader sense also unites us. Food insecurity and conflict are a vicious circle that affects many parts of the world, whether in Yemen, Afghanistan or the Horn of Africa. This includes the fight against climate change, which exacerbates food insecurity and can thus have implications for international peace and security.
Switzerland shares strong convictions with the European Union and the United Nations: disputes can and must be resolved peacefully, dialogue and respect are the best means to achieve this, and diversity is a driver of peace and prosperity. We will continue to cooperate closely with the European Union and the United Nations, both in the Security Council and beyond, as well as in the implementation of Our Common Agenda. Together we can forge global partnerships to implement our common motto: "united in diversity".