UN General Assembly, New York, 20-23 September 2022 (2023)

President Michel on Russia's war against Ukraine

Main results

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, addressed the 77th session of the UN General Assembly on behalf of the EU on Friday 23 September.

Putting an end to horror and choosing hope: this is the promise of the United Nations. It was the foundation stone for the European Union. And hope is what we want for the whole world.

President Michel at the 77th UN General Assembly

  • Speech by President Charles Michel at the 77th UN General Assembly

Focusing on Russia’s unjustified war against Ukraine, President Michel outlined various lies propagated by Russia. He highlighted that when a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council starts an unprovoked war, it should be automatically suspended from the Security Council.

He also recalled the EU's support for restoring security around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

The European Union does not ask anyone to choose between East or West, between North or South. But there is a choice to be made. And the choice of the European Union is respect for borders, rather than aggression. It's cooperation, rather than threat.

President Michel at the 77th UN General Assembly

President Michel on a robust multilateral system

President Michel underlined the key role of multilateralism as collective intelligence based on mutual trust. He also called for the inclusion of the African Union in the G20.

European leadership is about building solutions together with you. It is not for us to give lectures (...) That is why and it is with this spirit that we are reaching out with strategic partnerships.

President Michel at the 77th UN General Assembly

President Michel confirmed the EU's support for the UN Secretary-General's proposals on the Common Agenda.

The European Union also remains very committed and stands alongside the countries of the G5-Sahel and alongside the populations of Mozambique, Afghanistan, Yemen, Israel, Palestine, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Regarding energy and climate, climate neutrality remains the EU's compass. President Michel also recalled the EU's commitment to developing countries.

Energy and climate change are two sides of the same coin. Overcoming the energy crisis means mitigating the climate threat. Protecting our biodiversity and oceans is about safeguarding our future.

President Michel at the 77th UN General Assembly

As Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine is exacerbating the global food crisis, President Michel stated that the EU is ready to support sustainable projects for fertiliser productionin Africa and Latin America.

The European Union is mobilising almost EUR 8 billion for food security between now and 2024.But we know more is needed: more coordination, more money and more sovereignty.

President Michel at the 77th UN General Assembly

EU priorities at the 77th UN General Assembly

Every year, the Council adopts priorities for the UN and the UN General Assembly, which guide the EU’s work for the year to come.

The Council’s priorities for the 77th UN General Assembly (September 2022-September 2023) include:

  • upholding the UN Charter and the rule of law
  • addressing the global consequences of the Russian aggression against Ukraine
  • promoting sustainable development and human rights
  • supporting access to quality education
  • strengthening global health security
  • fighting climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution
  • shaping the global digital agenda

The Council also underlines the need to modernise and reform the UN to make it better equipped to handle future challenges and opportunities.

  • EU at the UN General Assembly (background information)
  • EU priorities at the 77th United Nations General Assembly: Council approves conclusions (press release, 18 July 2022)

Address by President Michel at the Global Food Security Summit

Global Food Security Summit

On 20 September 2022, President Michel co-chaired a summit on global food security together with the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, the Chairperson of the African Union and President of Senegal, Macky Sall, and the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez.

Food security is the major global challenge today. Today’s global food crisis is being exacerbated by Russia’s war against Ukraine. Famine is looming in many parts of the world, and now is the time for all of us to translate our political commitments into concrete action.

European Council President Charles Michel

  • Remarks by President Charles Michel at the Global food security summit in New York

Leaders issued a short declaration at the end of the summit. They committed to strengthen international cooperation and partnership initiatives.

We can only overcome global food insecurity by working together to create innovative partnerships – including international financial institutions and other key stakeholders – within the global community.

Declaration of Leaders’ summit on global food security

They also underscored the need to:

  • act with sustained urgency and in coordination
  • respond to immediate humanitarian needs
  • build more resilient agriculture and food systems
  • Declaration of Leaders’ summit on global food security
  • Global Food Security Summit (event, 20 September 2022)

Russia’s unjustified war against Ukraineis aggravating a global food security crisis. The EU and its member states standunited against Russia’s military aggressionin Ukraine and are strongly committed to tackling the global food crisis.

EU countries have establishedsolidarity lanesto export Ukraine’s much-needed food staples and overcome Russia’s blockade of Black Sea ports. Since May 2022, around 10 million tonnes of Ukraine grain and oilseeds have been exported via these lanes.

Shipments of grain via the Black Sea restarted in July 2022 following the UN-brokered agreement under theBlack Sea Grain Initiative. Over 3 million tonnes of grain and other products have been shipped so far.

  • Food security and affordability (background information)

‘Women in Conflicts’: Young voices for change event

‘Women in Conflicts’ event

On 21 September 2022, President Michel co-hosted the third edition of ‘Women in Conflicts’, which focused on thevoices of young womenactivists and leaders working in conflict and post-conflict regions.

The event brought together activists, survivors and world leaders who gave testimonies from conflict situations around the world, including Ukraine, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya.

During the event, the participants discussed how to mobilise efforts and strengthen international commitments to ensure greater participation and protection of women.

  • ‘Women in Conflicts’: Young voices for change (event, 21 September 2022)

Bilateral meetings

In the margins of the UN General Assembly, President Michel met with leaders from around the world:

  • President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi
  • President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
  • President of Rwanda Paul Kagame
  • Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council of the Republic of Yemen Rashad al-Alimi
  • Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal
  • Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama
  • Prime Minister of Iraq Mustafa Al-Kadhimi

The EU at the UN General Assembly

The EU is committed to multilateralism, with a strong and effective UN at its core. Since 1974, the EU is a permanent observer at the UN General Assembly.

Following the adoption of a UN General Assembly resolution in May 2011, the EU has the ability to speak early among other major groups and can be represented by the EU external representatives (the President of the European Council, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the European Commission and the EU delegation).

Since 2011, the President of the European Council is addressing the General Assemblyon behalf of the EU.

Meeting information

  • New York
  • -

Press information

Press contacts

Barend Leyts
Spokesperson for the European Council President
+32 486 22 68 65
+32 2 281 5150
@BarendLeyts
Magdalena Buchowska
Press officer
+32 470 88 16 32
+32 2 281 42 02

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