United Nations

Documents from [1991] to [2002]
Fonds Creator

In 1991 Angel Viñas was nominated head of the European Commission delegation at the General Assembly of the UN in New York, where it had already participated as observer since 1974. The Single European Act invited member countries to adopt a common approach in international organisations. Within the European political co-operation framework, there existed a working group on the UN. The position of the delegation was weak: composed of about 20 people, its influence marginal, because it was the rotating presidency of the Council which expressed the Community's viewpoint before the Assembly nor did not have the right to vote at plenary sessions. Inititally the mission head did not benefit from the title of ambassador. His work was limited to helping in the co-ordination of member countries and in encouraging them to make joint declarations.
During his mission, the Commission succeeded in getting the UN to give Viñas the title of Ambassador for his work on the progress towards cohesion within the Union. Equipped with new prerogatives with the CSFP and the Maastricht Treaty (1993) and managed by the new Directorate General for international relations policy (DG 1A) under Director General Gunther Burghardt, the Commission delegation battled on the institutional plan to obtain "full participation" at important conferences such as the UNCED or participation at special sessions of the General Assembly. On the policy plevel, it dealt with multiple crises: the beginnings of the division of Yugoslavia, threats in the Caucasus, the genocide in Rwanda. Peacekeeping operations and the safeguarding of human rights were from now on at the centre of the UN mission for which the European Union displayed its diplomatic endeavours and divisions in mobilising its operational and financial means.

Extent and Medium

20 files


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