Today, the Commission and the High Representative adopted a Joint Communication on the EU Strategy for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. The Joint Communication contains concrete actions to reinforce the strategic engagement with the region, as tasked by the Council on 19 April 2021.
The EU is stepping up its strategic engagement with the vital Indo-Pacific region. The region’s growing economic, demographic, and political weight makes it a key player in shaping the rules-based international order and in addressing global challenges. With this new strategy, the EU aims to contribute to the region’s stability, security, prosperity and sustainable development, in line with the principles of democracy, rule of law, human rights and international law.
As the world still responds to the effects of the global pandemic, the human rights of many who have a religion or hold humanistic and/or atheistic beliefs are increasingly threatened. On the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence based on Religion or Belief, the EU stands in solidarity with all victims of persecution, wherever they may be.
On the 19th of August, we celebrate those who dedicate their time, effort and skills to others. Humanitarian workers may not be Olympic athletes, but on their working marathons, they often put their lives at stake to protect others. They thrive not to achieve the best time, but the most effective result. They carry the torch of solidarity and altruism. The EU honours all humanitarian workers saving lives and helping the most vulnerable in times of crisis worldwide. Their courage, will and determination is the victory of us all.
What started as a symbolic gesture in a few countries, with a few volunteers, has now become a global movement, involving hundreds of people and collecting tons of waste on beaches, rivers and lakes across the world, reaching more than 80 countries in the 2019 edition. On the 18th of August, we officially launch the 2021 edition of the #EUBeachCleanup, together with the UN and with the support of the bluest of friends, the Smurfs. This year’s campaign focuses on the protection of marine life, with physical and digital actions for everyone to join. The campaign will reach its climax around the World Coastal Clean-up Day on 18th September.
On the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we celebrate the resilience and resourcefulness of indigenous peoples around the world. This year, we join the United Nations in the call for a new social contract, where no one is left behind.
The text of the following statement was released by the Governments and Members of the Friends of the Mekong Group on the occasion of the 2021 Friends of the Mekong Ministerial Meeting.
The Heads of Delegation of the Friends of the Mekong (the Friends) met virtually on August 5, 2021. We welcomed the Heads of Delegation from the ASEAN Secretariat, the United Kingdom, and India, who participated as observers.