European Union and United Nations work together to improve lives in more than 170 countries

Mar 1, 2017

Partnership between the European Union and the United Nations has benefited millions of people in more than 170 countries across the globe, according to the latest report showcasing the results and strength of the collaboration between the United Nations and the European Union.

From the Millennium Development Goals to the new 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the European Union has worked together with the United Nations to ensure access to education and health, save lives, increase resilience, and promote the values enshrined in the UN Charter of peace and human rights.   

EU President Jean-Claude Juncker stressed the need for a greater emphasis on multilateralism and collective action to address global challenges. He emphasized the European Union’s commitment to the ``spirit of global solidarity at the heart of the 2030 Agenda’’ in an introduction to the report which covers activities of the partnership between the United Nations and the European Union 2014-2015.

The results of this ambitious and wide-ranging partnership can be seen at country level. The EU and the UN have worked, for example, with Governments in Iraq, the Central  African Republic, Thailand, Ukraine and Colombia to integrate human rights in their development plans.

Partnership is crucial to success. According to the report, ``Saving and Empowering Lives,’’ in nearly 40 countries, the EU and the UN have partnered with civil society organizations and national authorities to improve protection for millions of refugees and internally displaced persons.

Training is another fundamental area of cooperation to help countries promote and honour commitments to gender equality, the empowerment of women and end abuse of women and children among others.

Tens of millions of vulnerable people in 49 countries in 2014-2015 benefitted from food assistance provided by the United Nations and the European Union in nations ravaged by war or malnutrition. Despite efforts by the EU and the UN, nearly 800 million people are still undernourished, and tackling hunger is critical to the partnership.

In a world beset by crises, the European Union and the United Nations play a fundamental role in providing relief to the some 65 million people who were uprooted from their homes globally due to armed conflicts, climate change, population growth and unplanned urbanization.

With their immense convening power, the EU and the UN helped coordinate contributions from donors, international organizations, civil society and national authorities to address the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons in Africa, the Middle East and Europe itself.

Innovative initiatives using private sector partnerships and new technologies like biometrics and ATMs provide help quicker and in a more economically efficient manner.

From floods, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and other emergencies, the EU and the UN have expanded cooperation on rapid response to crises, increasing resilience and recovery.

The EU-UN partnership in Peace and Security continued to deepen in 2014-2015, providing a valuable contribution to the increased attention currently being paid to the importance of mediation, conflict resolution and preventive diplomacy now evident in both the European Union and the United Nations.

In 2015, the EU and the UN agreed on priorities for 2015-2018 for strengthening the partnership on peacekeeping and crisis management. The EU-UN Partnership has promoted democracy, the rule of law and good governance in countries across Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.   

Working together, the EU and the UN have expanded global access to essential services, provided training and opportunity for enhanced inclusive, green growth and decent jobs.

The UN and the EU played crucial roles in the historic Agreement on Climate Change in Paris in 2015, paving the way to further develop national climate plans; the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction; the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The historical year of 2015 marked a landmark in continuing to strengthen the partnership between the EU and the UN. The partnership was highlighted during the first-ever European Year for Development in 2015 and the annual European Development Days.

The next edition of the European Development Days in June 2017 will focus on investing in development, marking a new step in forging an ever stronger partnership between the EU and the UN.

Contact information

Ludmila Tiganu, Communications Specialist, UNDP Brussels, ludmila.tiganu@undp.org