CLEER WP 2012/4 – Serrano de Haro
Participation of the European Union in the work of the United Nations: General Assembly Resolution 65/276
Pedro Serrano de Haro
The adoption of UNGA Res. 65/276 on 3 May 2011 constitutes an important step in implementing the Treaty of Lisbon provisions at the United Nations. The new set of EU international representatives can now present EU positions at General Assembly formal meetings, as well as at UN international conferences, in conditions similar to those awarded to representatives of UN members acting on behalf of major groups. This resolution is an acknowledgement of the EU's specificity. It can be considered a major breakthrough in a forum where the promotion of national sovereignty continues to be a dominant factor. This paper seeks to present the main concerns that were voiced by the UN membership, as well as the responses provided by the EU, during the negotiations that led to the adoption of the resolution. It will also offer an interpretation of its clauses and an analysis of its implementation one year after its adoption. The scope of and arrangements contained in this resolution do not offer a solution to all the questions raised by the participation of the EU in the work of the UN. Nevertheless, they do address the most immediate needs within the realm of the General Assembly and UN international conferences and provide a good basis for progress elsewhere. The paper is based on the author's personal involvement in the development and implementation of this initiative.