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I would like to start by saying that this morning I just met the Special Envoy [Cho Yoon Je] of the new President of the Republic of Korea [Moon Jae-in] who sent his special envoy to the European Union to discuss perspectives on DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] and denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. And we have had excellent exchanges with the Ambassador, agreeing to continue to work together and even intensify the work that the European Union and Korea can do to solve the problem, trying to deescalate the tensions, obviously continuing to implement the sanctions that the European Union has in place together with the rest of the international community, but also and mainly trying to open a political channel for negotiations.
I believe that we will partner very well with President [of the Republic of Korea, Jae-in] Moon and the rest of the international community, but we have established a very strong and direct link so the European Union experience in this field - including from the negotiations we have led on the Iranian nuclear programme - are at the disposal of this process and can be further explored in the future.
This is not linked to the agenda of the Development Ministers meeting but this is an extremely important step. First of all, the recognition of the role of the European Union on the global scene and also the specific competence and experience that the European Union has developed on the nuclear non-proliferation agenda that is obviously at the disposal of the entire international community in this particular moment. We also share the same view that any risk of military escalation in and around the Korean Peninsula should be avoided. This is priority number one in this moment. We have discussed this also with China, with Russia, with India recently. We will have a summit with China coming up soon so we will continue to remain extremely engaged but especially with a direct channel with Seoul on these issues.
Apart from that, today we will have an important meeting with the Development Ministers to take a certain number of important decisions. The Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, will join us and I would like to highlight the fact that the European Union is, stays and will continue to stay, the first partner for the United Nations, the first humanitarian donor, the first provider of development aid and a strong supporter of the Sustainable Development Goals Agenda, the Agenda 2030, and in general terms – in more broader terms – of the UN system and the multilateral agenda that is sometimes put into question in these recent months.
For the European Union, investing in development, investing in sustainable development, investing in the fight against climate change, in human rights, is an essential part of our security and foreign policy. We see this as an investment in our own security and prosperity – and this is what we share, I believe, with the entire UN system. This is why the European Union is and will continue to be a reliable, strong, committed partner for the entire international community on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, on the implementation of the Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, and also on the peacekeeping and a conflict prevention agenda of the UN.
I was very pleased to see not only Amina Mohammed joining us today, but also the UN Secretary General António Guterres addressing the European Parliament earlier this week exactly with the same message of recognition of the strength of the work of the European Union in this field.
What are the most important points of the Consensus on Development you will adopt today and how does it differ from the 2005 Consensus?
It is a new way of looking at development that adjusts to the developments of the international agenda in the recent years. The world has changed, the situation in the world has changed and we are adapting our policies to that. So, we move from a traditional approach of donor recipient to a partnership approach in which we do things with our partners to cover all different set of fields. It is still mainly about poverty eradication and reduction but it is also covering many other fields that affect directly the living conditions of the people on the ground.
Our main and privileged partner remains Africa and this fits very well with the debate we have had with the Foreign Ministers earlier this week where the President of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki [Mahamat] was present. We discussed exactly how we managed together to implement the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals], looking at the governance aspects, at human rights, at rule of law, at environment, at women's rights, at the place of youth in societies; so it is not only the traditional approach to development but it is a much broader concept that responds exactly to the philosophy of the SDGs and the agenda 2030, looking at the complexity of the world we are facing.