The Council of Europe has co-operated with the United Nations since 1951 and it enjoys observer status with the UN General Assembly since 1989.
In November 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus Resolution (A/Res/71/17) on Co-operation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe whereby it acknowledged the contribution of our Organisation to the protection and strengthening of human rights and fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law, welcomed the on-going co-operation in a variety of fields where our two Organisations work together on a regular basis, and invited the Secretaries-General of the UN and the Council of Europe to combine efforts in seeking answers to global challenges, in particular, in relation to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
Equally, during meetings at the UN Headquarters in December 2016, members of the Sub-Committee on External Relations of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy clearly felt from key UN officials a strong wish and the need to see this co-operation enhanced and to be more oriented towards practical results.
Indeed, in troubled times where universal human rights are increasingly under threat, the UN needs to rely on partnerships with values-based regional Organisations in order to uphold the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Mr António Guterres, a former member of our Parliamentary Assembly, was elected as a new Secretary-General of the UN in November 2016 and assumed his duties as from January 2017. This opens new prospects for strengthening co-operation between the Council of Europe and the UN and, in particular, further enhancing our Organisation’s contribution to implementing the UN Agenda 2030.
The Assembly must fully assume its role as the political driving force of the Council of Europe, carefully study ways and fields in which our Organisation could co-operate more actively and effectively with the United Nations, and make concrete proposals to this purpose. We call for a report to be prepared on this matter.