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News article21 September 2021

EU at UNGA 76: building closer ties in times of uncertainty

State of the Union 2021

Yesterday, 20 September, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen called on world leaders to step up climate finance to support the most vulnerable countries in the transition, with at least $100 billion. The EU and its Member States are doing their part with more than $25 billion a year. In the afternoon, President von der Leyen and High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell together with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, met the UN Secretary General António Guterres. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss recent developments in Afghanistan as well as joint efforts to address global challenges, such as climate change. To ensure that the global multilateral system is ‘fit for purpose' to address today's challenges, the EU will continue to support the UN Secretary General's reform efforts as outlined in the EU strategy on strengthening the EU's contribution to rules-based multilateralism, adopted in February 2021. Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, highlighted the importance of teacher training, improving inclusiveness and matching skills with jobs during the event “Reimagining Education in Africa”, organised by the African Union and UNICEF. You can read the full remarks here. In the evening, High Representative/Vice-President Borrell chaired the informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers, which focussed on the situation in Afghanistan, the recently announced defence partnership between the US, the UK, and Australia, and the situation in Mali. Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, represented the European Commission at the meeting. You can read the full press remarks of the High Representative's press conference here. Throughout the day, EU representatives held several bilateral meetings. Today, 21 September, President von der Leyen and High Representative/Vice-President Borrell will attend the opening session of the General Debate of the UN General Assembly, together with President Michel. President von der Leyen will participate at the meeting of Female Leaders, organised by the President of the UN General Assembly. Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, will participate in a High-level Dialogue on ‘Ensuring protection of Afghan people, especially of women and girls, in Afghanistan and in the region', hosted by Austria. She will hold a bilateral meeting with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi. In the afternoon, High Representative/Vice-President Borrell will host a meeting between the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council. In the evening, High Representative/Vice-President Borrell will convene the leaders from the Western Balkans for the traditional informal dinner organised in the margins of the UN General Assembly.

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Publication date
21 September 2021