Delegation of the European Union to Lesotho

About the EU Delegation to Lesotho

12/05/2016 - 12:05
About us - structure and organisation

Delegation of the European Union to Lesotho

Since the establishment of the European Union Delegation in the Kingdom of Lesotho in March 1976, our mandate includes managing and promoting friendly relations between the European Union and Lesotho through diplomacy, political and policy dialogues as well as through our cooperation programmes. Our partnership is broad and comprehensive with a central objective of eradicating poverty through sustainable development and fair trade.

Over the period 2014-2020, the EU and its partners in Lesotho have agreed to concentrate cooperation in three priority sectors in the framework of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF): i) water, ii) sustainable energy, and iii) good governance and social protection. In addition, EU assistance will enable civil society to play its vital role in Lesotho, in particular to promote social responsibility and participation. The support being provided in these key areas is vital to both improving living standards for the Basotho people and ensuring a sound basis for sustainable socio-economic development.

While development assistance has been for long the main focus of the work of the Delegation, political relations, trade, human rights, security issues, and cultural diplomacy are becoming increasingly the focus of attention.

Ambassador Paola Amadei, Head of the  European Union Delegation to the Kingdom of Lesotho

It was with great enthusiasm that I accepted the offer a few months ago to assume the position of Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union in the Kingdom of Lesotho. After a few weeks in the country, my enthusiasm continued to increase. I am thankful for the warm and unconditional reception by all of the people that I have met in these first days and for the patience that all have shown to me in addressing my many questions!

I look forward to strengthening the already solid relations that my predecessors have built with the Government, the private sector and all branches of civil society as well as continuing to contribute to the environmentally and socially sustainable development of the country. I am honoured to be able to build on the strong foundations that my colleagues have laid and to bring new bricks to the construction of the Lesotho-EU partnership.

I come to Lesotho at a turning point in the Kingdom’s history. The government has undertaken to implement comprehensive reforms, as the result of an inclusive process to which the EU was privileged to contribute. We are optimistic that this process will continue and succeed, and form the best basis not only for the next electoral campaign and polls, but also for a governance system that better responds to the needs and aspirations of all Basotho.

As the sole European diplomatic representation in the Mountain Kingdom, the EU Delegation has remained a reliable partner of the Kingdom of Lesotho since its establishment in Maseru in 1976. The Delegation aspires to remain an effective link between Lesotho, the EU institutions and services, and the 27 EU Member States, in particular, through their diplomatic missions accredited to Lesotho.  

The principle ‘to leave no one behind’ will be at the core of my mandate in Lesotho.  This concept, that inspires the Sustainable Development Goals, is at the heart of EU cooperation with partner countries. It is the guiding principle of the programmes and initiatives that the EU implements already and the initiatives it is planning with its counterparts in Lesotho.

The choice to focus on the sustainable, universal access to energy, water and sanitation and to the better management of natural resources is aimed at the wellbeing of all Basotho, to ensure that future generations inherit a country not depleted by exploitation of the environment that benefits only a few in the short-term. In the last years our societies in Africa, in Europe and across the globe have paid a very high price in terms of human lives and suffering because of the COVID-19 pandemic and extreme weather catastrophes: this should help us realise that only the judicious use of natural resources can help us avoid the collapse of planet Earth. Our youth is right to protest as they will be the ones ‘left behind’ picking up the pieces, if we do not act decisively following up on the commitments undertaken under the Paris Agreement on Climate. In this spirit, I look forward to listening to the youth of this country and to those engaged in protecting its valuable environment.

Support for the national reform process, for the inclusion of civil society organisations, for the promotion of human rights and democracy will continue to be an integral part of the programmes in the years to come. As the first woman to represent the EU in the Kingdom, I will also insist on introducing to all our initiatives a focus on the promotion of gender equality, on the empowerment of women and girls and on the fight against gender-based violence.  

The EU is also keen to establish a more active dialogue with its trade authorities and facilitate more support for the productive sector, provided it is socially and environmentally sound, in order to assist Basotho to look for outlets in Europe to market their products. The aim is ensure Basotho take advantage of the opportunities under the SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and they benefit from the expertise available in the EU Member States. A new phase of cooperation between Lesotho and the EU begins in 2021 with the worldwide programme ‘Global Europe’. While instruments and people change, our commitment for a fruitful relationship based on our shared values and for contributing to a peaceful, just and prosperous Lesotho remains steadfast.  

KHOTSO PULA NALA.

Paola Amadei

Ambassador Designate

Head of Delegation

Head of Delegation

  • Paola AMADEI

Assistant to the Head of Delegation

  • Fernando MONTOLÍO-ARQUE

Head of Cooperation

  • Mario VARRENTI 

Head of Finance and Contracts

  • Olivier BOGUET (Resident in Pretoria)

Head of Administration

  • Bojana DRAKSLER

Political Officer

  • David HEALY

Press and Information Officer

  • Mookho MAKHETHA

 

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