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Reinforcing the UN-EU Strategic Partnership on Peace Operations and Crisis Management: Priorities 2019-2021

Joint Press Statement

In the face of rising global levels of violent conflict, we – the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) – have identified a new set of forward-looking priorities for cooperation on peace operations and crisis management in 2019-2021. These priorities form part of the broader EU – UN partnership where we will continue to engage together in promoting multilateralism and a rules-based order as the most effective way for addressing pressing global challenges.

The European Union fully supports the United Nations Action for Peacekeeping Initiative (A4P) and the Declaration of Shared Commitments on UN Peacekeeping Operations with a particular emphasis on the importance of partnerships. The UN and the EU share a commitment to reinforcing our strategic partnership, but also to increasing coordination with other regional and international organisations in order to act more effectively and to ensure impact on the ground.

Eight priority areas have been identified. These priorities reflect our respective added values and strengths, build on the achievements of our longstanding cooperation on peacekeeping and civilian and military crisis management and seek to ensure complementarity and enhance synergies between UN and EU missions and operations. Key cross-cutting aspects include human rights and fundamental freedoms, ensuring compliance with International Humanitarian Law, and implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda.

These priorities also aim to foster closer dialogue with EU Member States based on our firm commitment to achieve political solutions and complement other UN-EU strategic partnerships, such as conflict prevention, counterterrorism and common engagements on atrocity prevention and the responsibility to protect.

The UN and EU have identified the following priorities:

1) Establish a UN-EU collaborative platform on Women, Peace and Security to enhance coherence and integration of gender perspectives throughout our cooperation.

2) Strengthen cooperation between missions and operations in the field with a view to ensuring increased reciprocity in assets-sharing, coherence and continuity.

3) Assess how best to act in complementarity during the planning and execution of transitions of missions and operations, considering the development of common guidelines.

4) Further facilitate EU Member States' contributions and support to UN peace operations and the UN Secretary-General's Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) Initiative.

5) In support of conflict prevention and political processes and solutions, identify, mobilise and use tools – mediation, early warning and security sector reform (SSR) – and coordinate political messages and strategic communication in response to early signs of conflict, as relevant.

6) Intensify cooperation on policing, the rule of law and SSR to include also the justice and penitentiary structures; and assess possibilities for cooperation on civilian rapid response.

7) To enhance cooperation with and support to African-led peace operations, explore together with the African Union (AU), possible initiatives to deepen trilateral cooperation – UN-EU-AU – on peace operations, conflict prevention and crisis management, as well as on regional strategies.

8) Efforts to enhance performance of peace operations on the ground will be taken forward through strengthened cooperation on training and capacity building, including exercises. Focusing our cooperation around these eight priority areas will allow us to continue reinforcing the UN-EU strategic partnership on peace operations and crisis management in response to increasingly complex causes of crisis, and interconnected peace and security challenges.