Diplomacy: EU to take seat at UN

4 May 2011 – Presseurop EUobserver.com

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President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy "will now be able to address the United Nations no differently from US president Barack Obama, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez or Russia's Dimitri Medvedev,” reports EUObserver. The EU will now be symbolically given “almost all the rights” enjoyed by fully-fledged states including “the right to speak, the right to make proposals and submit amendments, the right of reply, the right to raise points of order and the right to circulate documents”.

Until now the EU has only had observer status at the UN. A similar move to give the EU something near full member status, put forward by Belgium, was last year rejected. The new status will allow EU foreign policy chief, high representative Catherine Ashton and her officials to speak on the floor. Ms Ashton was "delighted" by the move she says ‘will in future enable EU representatives to present and promote the EU's positions in the UN,’” reports the Brussels based news service.

According to EUObserver, in order to win the platform the EU has agreed to changes in how the UN is structured, transforming it from “an assembly of nation states into a body that also offers representation rights to regional blocs as well, including potentially the African Union, the Arab League and the South American Union”.

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