Praise for partnership between United Nations and European Union

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) meets with Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, in Brussels, Belgium. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

The "vital importance" of the partnership between the United Nations and the European Union was reaffirmed this Tuesday following a visit by the UN Secretary-General to Belgium.

Ban Ki-moon met with senior leaders in the capital, Brussels, and also spoke with refugees at a soup kitchen run by a local non-governmental organization (NGO).

Dianne Penn reports.

Mr Ban commended the European Union for its strong support for UN values.

In a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk, he praised the continent's leadership in implementing new global agreements that address sustainable development and climate change.

He also expressed thanks for the EU's continued support to a UN plan on preventing violent extremism, while also recalling the need for stronger international cooperation to face emerging challenges.

Europe continues to be a destination for people escaping war and insecurity, and Mr Ban expressed appreciation for efforts to manage the large flows of refugees and migrants, including through expanding legal pathways.

Mr Ban also stopped at the "Startpunt" soup kitchen, organized by a local NGO.

It is a place where new asylum seekers can get a meal and information from Belgian and refugee volunteers, such as this man from Afghanistan.

"Because we have gone through the steps, we know very well what refugees and asylum seekers feel when they come to a new society, a new country. They risk their lives to come here, so we're going to help them. We're going to help them feel more welcome, more warm, to feel free, to feel secure, and to give them basic information about asylum procedures in Belgium."

The UN chief is in Brussels to participate in the European Development Days, a leading forum on development and international cooperation.

He will also take part in a meeting related to the Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’37″

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