A significant connection between the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) is their common emphases on rights. Both uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1976), which details a statement of rights including economic rights, equal human rights, the right of self-determination and the right to freedom. Consequently both the EU and the UN maintain, for example, the right to a decent standard of living, to employment and to the right to hold and protect property. The EU has more intense involvement in developing and enforcing these rights, but the UN has an intense participation in developing these rights on the world stage as illustrated by the Millennium Development Goals, which have great significance to developing countries where such rights have historically been to varying degrees rejected.
A foundational similarity between the EU and the UN is that they are organizations through which sovereign powers meet to increase economic development, safety and security, and individual well-being. It may be said that a significant focus of the EU member states (28) is on economic development and human rights while a significant focus of the UN member states (193) is on peace keeping, international security and international humanitarian issues. The significant similarities between the two is stated by the United Nations Regional Information Centre, highlighting their shared connection founded in preserving rights, security and humanitarianism:
The United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) share the same fundamental values and goals, namely the maintenance of international peace and security, the development of friendly relations on the basis of a due regard for the principles of equal rights and the self-determination of peoples, the promotion of international cooperation in the solution of economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems, and the promotion and consolidation of the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all people.