United Nations, May 31: With the post-world war international institutions eroded and under threat, a “strong and united Europe” standing alongside the United Nations, has never been more essential, UN chief António Guterres has said.
The Secretary-General was in the ancient continental capital of Aachen (Germany), close to the French border, on Thursday where he received the Charlemagne Prize, awarded each year since 1950, for services towards European unification.
As a former Portuguese Prime Minister, and one of the architects of the European Union’s efforts in the late 1990s and early 2000s to strengthen social safety nets, solidarity, and cooperation with Africa and India, Guterres described himself as a “committed European” who understood that, in bestowing the award, Aachen was paying tribute “to the commitment, service, and sacrifice of the women and men of the United Nations”.
The European Union, which grew out of the ashes of two world wars, has forged “an exemplary partnership” with the United Nations, said Guterres, and the breakup of the 28-nation political and economic bloc, “would inevitably be the failure of multilateralism and the failure of a world in which the rule of law can prevail”. (UNI)