ECOSOC: Statement by the EU Presidency at the special meeting on “Social and economic measures to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”

Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States by H.E. Mr. Magnus Lennartsson, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN, at the ECOSOC Special meeting on “Social and economic measures to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”.


Thank you Madame Chair, 

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the EU and its Member States. 

The Candidate Countries North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Albania*, the Republic of Moldova and Bosnia and Herzegovina*, the potential candidate country Georgia, as well as Andorra, Monaco and San Marino align themselves with this statement. 

We welcome the Special Meeting at the Economic and Social Council and the discussion on the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the Agenda 2030 that can contribute to prevent conflicts, genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. This is also another opportunity to the continuing operationalization of the Responsibility to Protect which means tackling the underlying causes that can allow atrocity mind-sets to grow. 

Preventing violent conflict is key to saving populations from the scourge of war. Today our world is confronted by unprecedented levels of violence, atrocities and displacement. Unfortunately the list of country situations of particular concern is long. 

Promoting a holistic approach to conflict prevention is an essential element of the EU’s foreign and security policy. We need to double down on our efforts and actions, both in terms of prevention and response. We share the same fundamental values and strive towards the same goals as the UN: maintenance of international peace and security and the promotion of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms on the basis of the principles of self-determination of peoples. 

Paraphrasing previous Secretary-General Kofi Annan, there cannot be peace without development, no development without peace, and neither without human rights. These interlinkages are also evident in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Its achievement will not only contribute to a more peaceful world, its implementation will be dependent on addressing causes of violence and conflict from social, economic and environmental point of view, including food security and improving climate resilience and the pursuit of sustained peace. The prevention of violence and conflict both serves to prevent human suffering, and also prevents the negative impacts of war to societies’ economic, social and environmental progress. 

The EU will be submitting its voluntary review at the HLPF this year and we also look forward to the SDG Summit in the fall as an important milestone to renew our emphasis on strengthening the global protection of human rights, including promoting peaceful, just and inclusive societies and our efforts in ‘leaving no one behind’. 

Working as One UN and across the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus is essential to ensure a coherent strategy in support of breaking the vicious cycles of conflict. The EU supports the strengthening of early warning and prevention mechanisms within the UN system, and stands ready to provide support in this regard, as well as in the implementation of the Youth and Women Peace and Security Agendas. The recently adopted Youth Action Plan in EU external action promotes youth empowerment, leadership and participation at political, social and economic levels and recognizes the important contribution of young people in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.

Over the past years, we have established tools and policies, such as Conflict Analysis tools and the EU Early Warning System to identify and address early warning. The EU Toolkit on R2P and Atrocity Prevention offers practical guidance on atrocity prevention to EU Delegations, missions, and operations and is a concrete step towards operationalising R2P on the ground.

Exacerbated nationalism, hate speech, xenophobia, racial and ethnic profiling must be fought with the strongest determination. But these challenges can only be addressed if we all put our efforts together.

In Our Commom Agenda, the Secretary-General has set a new ambition for preventive diplomacy, conflict prevention and peacebuilding. The EU and its member states are steadfast supporters of global peacebuilding. The Peacebuilding Commission provides supportive dialogue between countries and the international community where there is a need to accompany countries on their path to sustaining peace. Such support can be crucial in preventing future atrocities.    

Thank you.

Last updated 24 Jan 2023, 12.18 PM