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Sat, 22 Jun 2019 14:27 - Updated Sat, 22 Jun 2019 14:24

Stand firm or face a new Cold War, Guterres warns Europe

BERLIN (Reuters) - The world risks a descent into lawlessness and a new Cold War if multilateralism fails, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday, calling on the European Union to take a lead role in fighting to preserve a rules-based global order.

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Speaking in the western German city of Aachen, where he was being awarded the annual Charlemagne Prize for promoting European unity, Guterres described the 28-nation bloc as a pillar of multilateralism that was "too big to fail".

"If you want to avoid a new Cold War, if you want a real multilateral order, then we have to have a United States of Europe as a strong pillar of it," he said after being presented the medal in Aachen city hall's ornate Coronation Room.

The prize, first awarded in 1949, is named after the medieval monarch who in 800 was crowned emperor of a Europe-spanning polity that ruled much of modern-day France, Germany, the Low Countries and Central Europe from Aachen.

Former laureates have included French President Emmanuel Macron, Pope Francis and Britain's wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

In its citation, the prize committee said Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal, had been chosen for his advocacy of cooperation, tolerance, pluralism and multilateral cooperation.

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