‘When climate disasters strike the EU is there to help’ – this is the theme of an EU campaign providing humanitarian aid to victims of natural and man-made disasters brought about by climate change. ‘El Niño brings despair, Andres brings repair’ states one of the captions used in the campaign, as Andres, a dedicated EU humanitarian aid worker, helps to provide immediate food assistance and livelihood opportunities to strengthen the resilience of communities affected by drought in Guatemala. This is just one example. But the EU is not only there to help in the aftermath of climate disasters. By bringing forward the European Green Deal, the EU commits to make Europe carbon neutral by 2050, and protect our natural habitat for years to come.
We celebrate this year the 10th anniversary of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights and the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Yet these rights continue to be challenged around the world. In particular, children and youth continue to be the main victims of human rights violations. They are forced to seek refuge, recruited as soldiers, forced into child labour or torn apart from their families against their will.
Today marks the first day of United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP25, taking place in Madrid until 13 December. It is also one of the first activities for Josep Borrell in his role as EU High Representative.
The European Union reaffirms today its support to the universal ban on chemical weapons. It is a tribute to all those who have lost their lives or loved ones and suffered harm from chemical weapons as well as a commitment to promoting peace and security.
The Chemical Weapons Convention and the crucial work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have contributed to eliminating 97% of chemical weapons stockpiles declared by possessor states. This makes the Chemical Weapons Convention the world's most successful disarmament treaty.
Today, the EU will light up its headquarters in Brussels to show its support for eradicating an alarming problem that is still too common. One in three women in Europe has experienced physical and/or sexual violence.