On the International Day of Peace, the European Union reaffirms its commitment to peace and security, to human rights and sustainable development for all, to international cooperation and to the rules-based international order with the United Nations at its core. Sustainable peace has always been and will remain at the centre of the European Union’s external action, as restated in the Global Strategy.
All around the world, the EU engages in prevention, peace building, conflicts and crises resolution and stabilisation through regional and international partnerships. For instance, the EU and the UN strongly cooperate on these areas with the EU Member States who are the largest contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping budget, providing around 30% of it. The EU civilian missions and military operations are providing support to local authorities for the strengthening of the security, the rule of law, the prevention of human trafficking and piracy, or the formation of police and military forces. The EU is also a strong advocate of the universalisation and enforcement of non-proliferation and arms control treaties and regimes towards a more secure world.
This year, the International Day of Peace’s focus is on combatting climate change as a key to protecting and promoting peace throughout the world. For more than a decade, the EU has been working to raise awareness and tackle the inter-connection between climate, peace and security. Today, as especially young people all around the world are mobilising in their call to save our planet, the time for action is more pressing than ever. Climate change multiplies threats to peace and security as it adds pressure to already fragile livelihoods and destabilises local communities and their environments. Food insecurity, water scarcity and environmental degradation often lead to competition over natural resources, and tensions as communities are forced to flee and migrate in search for a better future. Nearly a billion people live in areas with high exposure to climate hazards; some 400 million of them live in countries with already low levels of peacefulness. These conditions have the potential to further undermine the functioning of affected societies.
It is our collective responsibility to work towards a more peaceful, secure and prosperous world for present and future generations. And we do it. We do this by addressing the root causes of instability, investing in conflict prevention, in our defence and financial cooperation with partner countries, and climate diplomacy. By investing in our own peace, we invest in peace in the whole world.