Delegation of the European Union to Japan

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The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, held a meeting by video conference with Chinese State Councillor / Foreign Minister, Wang Yi on 8 February. They discussed EU-China relations, the fight against COVID-19, and international issues, in particular the response to the military coup in Myanmar and the need for continued close international coordination on Iran.

The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, visited Moscow from 4-6 February. During the visit, High Representative Borrell had a wide-ranging discussion on EU-Russia relations and the global geopolitical landscape with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

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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The EU welcomes the agreement reached between the United States and the Russian Federation to extend the New START Treaty for an additional five years.

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