07/03/2021 – HR/VP Blog – Last Friday I visited Nicosia to reiterate the EU’s strong support for the resumption of talks on a settlement of the Cyprus issue. We are at a crucial point: UN Secretary-General Guterres will convene an informal meeting in Geneva on 27-29 April in the hope of finding common ground to negotiate a lasting solution to this issue.
Ahead of International Women's Day, the European Commission issued the following statement:
“The past year was a difficult one. The COVID-19 pandemic has spared nobody, and was particularly challenging for women around the world. Doctors, nurses, teachers, shop assistants – jobs often held by women – have found themselves at the frontline of the pandemic. All this, while taking on greater responsibilities at home.
28/02/2021 – HR/VP Blog – EU leaders have held a timely discussion on the future of EU security and defence. We need commitment at the highest political level to make the EU a stronger security actor in a world of fast-changing threats.
17/02/2021 – HR/VP Blog – Why do we need to invest in multilateralism? Because it works. Today we have set out what the EU can do to strengthen and modernise the global system of rules and institutions on which we all depend.
“Children have a key role to play in building a present and a future where peace will prevail. It is our responsibility to enable them to be such agents of change”, says EU-UN statement on International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers
Joint statement by EU High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell and UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba on the occasion of the International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers
07/02/2021 – HR/VP Blog – I went to Moscow this week to test, through principled diplomacy, whether the Russian government was interested in addressing differences and reversing the negative trend in our relations. The reaction I received points visibly in a different direction. So, as EU we will have to reflect on the broader implications and chart a way forward. We are at a crossroads. The main parameters of the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century are being drawn.
In some parts of the world, girls under 18 are circumcised and assumed ready for marriage. Ester recalls that she was very excited and agreed to this “BUT when the day came and already cut, oh God I was like half dead,” she cried. Female genital mutilation is a crime and a violation of human rights. It cannot be justified as a cultural or traditional practice. The practice has been around for more than a thousand years, and continues to persist until this very day, further impacted by the shadow pandemic, disrupting efforts for its elimination. But change is possible, and it is happening.
No woman or girl should suffer from violence. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a severe violation of human rights and an act of violence against women and girls. It is estimated that more than 200 million women and girls worldwide have suffered from FGM. In Europe, at least 600,000 women and girls are living with the consequences of FGM, often severely affecting their health and well-being, even endangering their lives. COVID-19 has disrupted prevention programmes, seriously undermining progress towards reducing this heinous practice. Any backward step puts thousands of women and girls at risk.