Delegation of the European Union to Iceland

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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.

“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.

04/02/2021 – HR/VP blog – On Monday, I spoke to the Robert Schuman Foundation about our priorities for this year: easing tensions in our neighbourhood, opening a new chapter in our relationship with the United States, rebalancing our relations with China, putting European strategic autonomy into practice and reviving multilateralism.

03/02/2021 – HR/VP blog – The Arctic is a fascinating region and Arctic affairs are becoming ever more geopolitically important. The impact of climate change, security issues and rivalries are growing, as is the need for cooperation and multilateral agreements.

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