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Guterres Says EU Is 'Fundamental Pillar' Of UN

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

The European Union is a "fundamental pillar" of the United Nations and should lead the way in solving conflicts and promoting human rights around the world, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the European Parliament on May 17.

"A strong and united Europe is an absolutely fundamental pillar of a strong and effective United Nations," Guterres told European lawmakers.

The UN chief called for promoting and protecting human rights and warned that such rights were increasingly "losing ground to the national sovereignty agenda."

"Unfortunately, we have seen national sovereignty many times being invoked to justify the lack of capacity of the international community to address the terrible human rights violations [and] challenges that we see in many parts of the world," Guterres said.

Guterres said the recent migrant crisis "has undermined to a certain extent the moral authority of several countries" to champion human rights.

He commended the EU's "strong commitment" to protect refugees and called on the 28-member bloc to be "at the center" of talks over a global framework to manage migrants' movements.

Guterres also said it was "absolutely essential that the world implement the Paris [climate change] agreement," adding that he was counting on the bloc's leadership to bring the agreement to life, after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw from it.

With additional reporting by dpa and Rikard Jozwiak in Brussels
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