Press Releases

    SG/SM/9290
                                                                                                                            5 May 2004

    Secretary-General Calls UN, European Union Natural Partners in Multilateral System as Europe Celebrates Enlargement

    NEW YORK, 4 May (UN Headquarters) -- The following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message on the occasion of European Union enlargement, delivered in New York, yesterday, 3 May, by Shashi Tharoor, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Public Information and Communications:

    With the enlargement you have gathered to celebrate this evening, the European Union and its new members have achieved something truly remarkable. This new, enlarged Union is an unprecedented opportunity for the peaceful unification of the European continent, and for its political, economic and social integration on a scale never witnessed before.  It is a unique expression of the EU’s efforts to promote peace and security, to endorse the ideal of unity in diversity, and to assert the values of freedom and respect for human rights.

    With 25 Member States, the EU now accounts for more than 13 per cent of the membership of the United Nations.  But as a group, it counts for much more than that.  Its impact is far greater than the sum of its parts.

    The United Nations and the European Union are natural partners in the multilateral system.  We are founded on the same universal values.  Increasingly, we are working together in new and productive ways.

    I think you would agree with me that the past year has been a painfully difficult one for all of us in the international community.  But one of the few causes for celebration is the progress we have seen in UN-EU cooperation.

    Let’s keep building on that momentum, so that we make a real difference in all the challenges we face.  Let us be creative in strengthening the cooperation between us.  Let us strive to make our common ideals a reality for all humankind.

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