Thank you, President and I join others in thanking the High Representative for his briefing and in wishing him a speedy recovery and return to in-person meetings.

This, as so many colleagues have said, has been one of the most challenging years for Europe since the Second World War, with Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine causing death and devastation, and forcing millions of refugees into neighbouring states.

It has been a challenging year for the international community, with Russia’s actions and other conflicts exacerbating existing problems in a world ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.

And it has been a challenging year for the UN, the multilateral system, and the rules-based international norms that we value.

We therefore welcome the positive role played by the EU and other regional organisations in promoting diplomacy and multilateralism, and supporting the Security Council on international peace and security.

First, we welcome the incredible support to Ukrainians, and the assistance provided to Ukraine to defend itself. The UK supports an outward-looking EU and values our cooperation on responding to this latest breach of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. This includes coordinating on measures to limit Russia’s ability to finance and wage its war; and on the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group to support the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General.

We are also working together on matters of food security. I would like to welcome in particular the High-Representative’s words rebutting disinformation on sanctions.

Second, we welcome the EU’s important contribution to the Council’s work. This includes EU efforts on restoring the JCPoA; its renewed partnership with the African Union; and its contribution to UN peace operations and peacebuilding, including for example, its contribution on Somalia.

In Europe, we strongly support the EU’s efforts in the Western Balkans, where we are coordinating to support the region’s European orientation; to secure progress in the EU-facilitated Serbia-Kosovo Dialogue; and working towards the renewal of the EUFOR Althea Mandate in November.

Finally, we welcome the EU’s work on global systemic challenges. Seven months since COP26, the EU and the UK are coordinating to pick up the pace on delivering a net zero, climate-resilient transition. At a time of global instability, with growing challenges of inflation, debt and food insecurity, we are united in our determination to deliver on the Glasgow Climate Pact and ensure the successful legacy of COP26.

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    The role of European Union in supporting international peace and security

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