Delegation of the European Union to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM

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The European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean enjoy privileged relations and are natural partners, linked by strong historical, cultural and economic ties. They share a strategic bi-regional partnership, which was launched in 1999 and stepped up significantly in the recent years. The two regions co-operate closely at international level across a broad range of issues and maintain an intensive political dialogue at all levels.

On the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the European Union reaffirms once again its strongest commitment to prevent, condemn and eradicate all forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Despite the absolute prohibition of torture under international law, it continues to be practiced around the world either in isolated cases or systematically, through different forms. Torture can target everyone – men, women, and children. Torture is an inexcusable crime for which each perpetrator has to be prosecuted and brought in front of justice.

Every minute, every day, nearly 31 people are forcibly displaced. Today, more than 68.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes due to conflicts and violence, persecution, natural disasters or the very real consequences of climate change –25.4 million of them are refugees.

In 2017 every 2 seconds one person was forced to flee their home due to war, persecution or violence. With millions of people in need on a record high the European Union continues its work with partners around the world to address the humanitarian challenges and to provide long-term support. Last year, €2 billion of the EU's humanitarian budget was allocated to help displaced people and host communities in 49 countries. And EU Member States have granted protection to more than 538 000 people.

Ten years after the EU's first landmark report on climate change and security, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, will host the high level event Climate, Security and Peace: The Time for Action on 22 June in Brussels. The high level event will bring together ministers, leading international figures, parliamentarians, think tanks and civil society to highlight the ongoing and new threats posed by climate change, consider progress made in making essential policy and operational linkages between climate and security and look at options to drive forward action. You can join and follow all the discussions using the hashtags #united4climate and #climadiplo

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, Federica Mogherini, High Representative/Vice-President, Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, and Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, made the following statement

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High Representative Federica Mogherini is proposing today, with the support of the Commission, a European Peace Facility (EPF). The EPF is an off-budget fund over the period of the next Multiannual Financial Framework, designed to prevent conflicts, preserve peace and strengthen international security around the world, for the benefit of our citizens and our partners.

In a more challenging global environment, the European Union needs to step up its actions to enhance its ability to prevent conflicts, build peace and strengthen international security. By proposing a new European Peace Facility (EPF) the European Union is taking another step towards cementing its role as a global actor.

On 25 May, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force. The Regulation updates and modernises the principles enshrined in the 1995 Data Protection Directive to guarantee privacy rights.

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