The meeting of the XI European Union - Uruguay Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC), established by the Framework Cooperation Agreement signed in 1992, was held in Montevideo on March 19, 2019. It was co-chaired by Ambassador Raúl Pollak, Director General for Political Affairs of the Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mrs. Edita Hrdá, General Director for the Americas of the European External Action Service (EEAS).
The representatives of Uruguay and the European Union (EU) examined the state of their dialogue at bilateral, bi-regional and multilateral levels, highlighting their great satisfaction regarding the excellent relations between both parties and reaffirming their willingness to continue deepening this relationship.
The meeting offered the opportunity to exchange views on issues of common interest and future international challenges. In this way, the representatives of Uruguay and the EU exchanged opinions on joint initiatives in the area of human rights and in areas such as the preservation of international peace and crises management (where the possibility of signing a framework agreement will be explored), climate change, drug trafficking and sustainable development.
Both parties reaffirmed the importance of current negotiations towards an EU-Mercosur Association Agreement and reiterated their maximum commitment for the early successful conclusion of these negotiations.
Uruguay and the EU reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the multilateral system as a means of finding long-term solutions to multiple global challenges facing the international community. Both sides agreed on the need to continue efforts towards rules-based and effective multilateralism. The importance of the reform of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization was highlighted.
It was agreed to intensify and regularize consultations and coordination on human rights issues, given Uruguay’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council for the 2019-2021 period. The two sides reiterated the importance of implementing the objectives proposed in the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals and of ensuring the rapid implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Both parties recognized the importance of supporting all countries in their transition to development with instruments that can adequately address the needs and priorities of countries at each stage, in the understanding that development is a multidimensional phenomenon that is not limited to economic growth. In this sense, new forms and strategies of international cooperation will be sought, such as triangular cooperation, setting up a bilateral fund within the framework of the EU’s new facility for "Development in Transition", and making better use of instruments such as the Instrument of Association to support political dialogue between Uruguay and the EU.
Finally, a broad exchange was held on current and future areas of cooperation, such as science and technology, education, climate change, infrastructure and the European Global Satellite Navigation System, and both sides reaffirmed their commitment to continue improving work in all areas of common interest.