Delegation of the European Union to DR Congo

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02/03/2021 – HR/VP Blog – The last European Council discussed the renewed partnership with our Southern Mediterranean neighbours that I proposed together with the European Commission as High Representative of the European Union. The economic, social, ecological and security challenges facing the region have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tackling these together is a key challenge for our external policy.

Around the world, NGOs, civil society and human rights defenders protect and promote human rights, democracy, as well as sustainable and inclusive development every day. They often do this unnoticed, far from the limelight and, at times, at great personal risk.

On World NGO Day, we pay tribute to their engagement, the impact of which should not be underestimated or taken for granted.

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21/02/2021 – HR/VP blog – The G5 Sahel summit and the Pau+1 summit, bringing together the G5 Sahel countries and their international partners, took place on 15 and 16 February. It is clear that the military victories achieved so far will have lasting effects only if the state’s sovereign functions are restored and basic state services are delivered once more.

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.

Our times are marked by major geopolitical and economic power shifts, with increasingly confrontational and unilateralist relations between major powers. Yet growing global challenges call for more multilateral governance and rules-based international cooperation. The COVID-19 crisis exemplifies the need for multilateral solutions: a major global threat, it has created much-needed momentum for a coordinated, global crisis response and has exposed the need to make multilateralism fit  to cope with the new challenges

“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

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.

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