Multilateralism has to have a chance: EU's Juncker

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Sunday that multilateralism has to have a chance as it is the "avenue for the future."


File photo: VCG

"Multilateralism has to have a chance. It is difficult, but that's the avenue for the future," said Juncker in a press encounter together with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"We are here to say that the multilateral approach is not dead. It has to be maintained. It is the only chance we have to shape the future of the globe in a way that is acceptable for all the stakeholders," Juncker said.

"We don't like the unilateral approach," said Juncker, who is in New York for this week's high-level session of the UN General Assembly.

Some of the UN member states are promoting unilateralism, said Juncker, without naming the United States.

He reiterated the European Union (EU)'s support for the United Nations, which he said is the cornerstone of multilateralism.

 In less than two years' time, U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement on climate change, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the UN Human Rights Council. It has also stopped funding a UN agency that supports the livelihood of more than 5 million Palestinian refugees.

At the press encounter, Guterres said the EU is an exemplary partner of the United Nations.

"We share the same concerns, in favor of multilateralism, and in favor of a rules-based international order," Guterres said.

The United Nations and the EU are working together in many scenarios around the world -- most of all, for peace and security, for sustainable development, for the promotion and protection of human rights, said Guterres.

"We have the same concern about climate change, and the fact that climate change is running faster than we are and the need to have climate action is an absolutely essential global priority," he said.

Guterres thanked the EU for its support, both to the reform of the world body, to many of its operations around the world -- in the humanitarian and development areas, but also from the peace and security perspective.

Guterres, Juncker and EU's foreign and security policy chief Federica Mogherini got together on Sunday on the margins of the UN General Assembly's high-level session.