EU at UNGA 77: EU Delegation to defend rules-based order

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


A high-level delegation of the European Union will attend the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly next week in New York. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell, and Commissioners Janez Lenarčič and Jutta Urpilainen will host and participate in events and meetings with leaders from around the world, and have a number of high-level bilateral meetings in New York throughout the week.

This year’s session is marked by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and its global consequences, which are deepening existing geopolitical fractures and crises, such as those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the worsening global climate emergency. The importance of multilateralism and defending a rules-based global order will stand in particular focus during the UNGA77. Major challenges of our time cannot be addressed by countries acting alone. They must be tackled together.

On Monday, 19 September, Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen will participate in the Transforming Education Summit, convened by the UN Secretary-General, reaffirming the EU’s commitment to bring education to the top of the international agenda and mobilise action to address the deep inequalities in access to schools, quality learning and digital connectivity.

On Tuesday, President von der Leyen and High Representative/Vice-President Borrell, together with the President of the European Council Charles Michel, will attend the opening session of the General Debate of the 77th UN General Assembly. The President and Executive Vice-President Timmermans will represent the EU during the pledging event ‘Countdown to CBD COP15: Landmark Leaders Event for a Nature Positive World’, co-hosted by the EU, renewing the EU’s commitment to reverse biodiversity loss and fight climate change. President von der Leyen will deliver a video message. Also on Tuesday, President von der Leyen, High Representative/Vice-President Borrell, together with President Michel, will meet with the UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

President Michel will deliver the statement on behalf of the EU on Friday, 23 September, accompanied by the High Representative/Vice-President Borrell.

EU Flagship events during the week

The EU will host or co-host a number of flagship events in the margins of the General Assembly:

  • On Tuesday, Executive Vice-President Timmermans will co-host a Ministerial Meeting on Finding Common Ground for Ambitious COP27 Outcomes, together with Barbados, Chile, and Germany.
  • On Wednesday, Commissioner Janez Lenarčič will co-host an event on ensuring accountability for sexual violence and other violations of International Humanitarian Law, together with Belgium and the DRC.
  • On Thursday, Commissioner Lenarčič will co-chair the high-level event ‘Tackling a “perfect storm” of humanitarian crises: expanding the resource base and building resilience in the face of exploding needs’, together with Indonesia and UNOCHA.

Other High-level events of the week

EU representatives will have a full agenda of high-level debates and side events, as well as numerous bilateral meetings:

  • On Monday, Executive-Vice President Timmermans will deliver a keynote speech at the World Economic Forum discussion on ‘Accelerating Climate Action through philanthropy-private-public collaboration’, and will participate in discussions on ‘Reaching Net Zero’ and climate resilience at the Clinton Global Initiative. High Representative Borrell will participate in the panel discussion ‘From Ukraine to the Americas: Fortifying recovery against global shocks’ organised by the Atlantic Council. High Representative Borrell will chair an informal meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers, with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the EU priorities during the UN General Assembly’s high-level week on top of the agenda.
  • On Tuesday, 20 September, President von der Leyen will participate in the Christchurch Call Leaders’ Summit, organised by France and New Zealand. The same day, she will participate in the 2022 Goalkeepers’ Global Goals Award event organised by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Executive-Vice President Timmermans will deliver closing remarks at the UN ministerial meeting on shaping an Africa-led Just and Equitable Energy Transition. He will also attend a ministerial meeting on climate and development, organised by the UK and Rwanda. High Representative/Vice-President Borrell will convene leaders from the Western Balkans for a working lunch. He will represent the EU at the Pledging Conference for the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, organised by Niger and Switzerland, reaffirming the EU’s commitment in the fight against radicalisation, terrorism and violent extremism. Commissioner Lenarčič will represent the EU at the Niger-hosted roundtable on ensuring the success of girls schooling.
  • On Wednesday, 21 September, President von der Leyen will make an announcement at the Global Fund Pledging Conference hosted by President Joe Biden, reaffirming the EU’s unwavering support to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria globally. Executive-Vice President Timmermans will participate at the UN Global Early Warning Initiative to Implement Climate Adaptation, organised by the World Meteorological Organisation. He will also attend the Bloomberg Climate Champions Forum and participate in the Informal Leaders’ Roundtable on Climate Action convened by UN Secretary-General Guterres.
  • The same day, High Representative Borrell will represent the EU at the 12th Global Counterterrorism Forum Ministerial Plenary Meeting, co-chaired by Canada and Morocco. He will represent the European Union at a Ministerial meeting on International Mobilisation for Development and Security in the Sahel and Gulf of Guinea countries, organised by France. He will then participate in a meeting of the G7 Foreign Ministers.
  • On Thursday, 22 September, High Representative/Vice-President Borrell will host a ministerial meeting between the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council, and he will participate in a ministerial meeting of the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee on Palestine, organised by Norway. He will then deliver a statement during a meeting of the Group of Friends of Accountability in Ukraine on Cooperation for Accountability in Ukraine, organised by Denmark and the Netherlands. He will participate in a dinner meeting of the Transatlantic Foreign Ministers, hosted by the US.

The agenda of the individual EU representatives can be found on their websites.

For More Information

During the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, the EU will focus on upholding the UN Charter and the rule of law, addressing the global consequences of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, promoting sustainable development and human rights, supporting access to quality education, strengthening global health security, and fighting climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, as well as shaping the global digital agenda. For more details, check the EU’s priorities here.

Collectively, the EU and its Member States are the single largest financial contributor to the UN system, providing almost a quarter of the UN’s regular budget.

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