19th October 2017
Foreign Affairs Council
The Foreign Affairs Council met on Monday, 16 October, to discuss Iran, North Korea, Myanmar/Burma and human rights. On the first two topics HR/VP Federica Mogherini said, "both situations are very different, but obviously it would be very difficult to open any form of dialogue with the DPRK if there is a serious threat of dismantling the one nuclear agreement that is working, the JCPOA". The Council adopted conclusions on Myanmar, in light of the humanitarian and human rights issues in Rakhine State. The Ministers also debated on the EU's general policy on human with the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Stavros Lambrinidis. The Council adopted conclusions on mid-term review of the Action plan on human rights and democracy and the Annual report on human rights and democracy in the world in 2016.
EU stands firm behind the Iran deal
The EU stands firm behind the 2015 deal on Iran's nuclear programme. The deal makes the world safer and the EU expects all parties to stick to it and will continue to guarantee its implementation. Following the publication of the US White House's New Strategy on Iran, HR/VP Federica Mogherini said on 13 October that the Iran deal "is not a bilateral agreement, it does not belong to any single country and it is not up to any single country to terminate it … It is a robust deal" that "is working and delivering". Speaking to the press, the HR/VP announced that she will visit Washington at the beginning of November to talk about the Iran Deal with her counterparts. "We cannot afford to dismantle it … the European Union together with the rest of the international community, is committed to preserve it, to the benefit of all, including the Iranian people", she said.
North Korea: EU's new autonomous sanctions
The Council of the European Union on Monday, 16 October, imposed new autonomous sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in addition those set out in the latest UN Security Council Resolutions. Responding to the persistent threat to international peace and stability posed by the DPRK, the aim of these new targeted sanctions is to strengthen the economic pressure on the Pyongyang regime while keeping the door of dialogue open and encouraging a meaningful, political, diplomatic, peaceful solution to the crisis. The new measures include: a total ban on EU investment in the DPRK, in all sectors; a total ban on the sale of refined petroleum products and crude oil to the DPRK; and lowering the amount of personal remittances transferred to the DPRK from € 15.000 to € 5.000. In addition, with a view to eliminating remittances to the DPRK, the EU Member States agreed not to renew work authorisations for DPRK nationals present on their territory, except for refugees and other persons benefiting from international protection.
Energy Union Commissioner hosts e-battery summit
Last week, the European Commission hosted auto, chemical and engineering executives in Brussels to develop electric vehicles battery manufacturing in the EU. German chemical group BASF, automakers Renault and Daimler and engineering firm Siemens were among those invited to the gathering. The initiative, which could lead to an Airbus-style consortium for battery production in Europe, was launched by Maroš Šefčovic, EU Commission Vice-President in charge of the Energy Union. The summit concluded with the commitment of the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and interested Member States to work in close partnership with the EU industry and innovation community to drive the process to establish a competitive manufacturing chain, capture sizeable markets and boost jobs, growth and investment across Europe.
EU at Pre-COP23 in Fiji
Ahead of the next UN climate conference (COP23), Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and Estonian Environment Minister Siim Kiisler represented the EU and its Member States at a ministerial dialogue known as 'pre-COP' in Nadi, Fiji, on 17-18 October. The meeting is the final step in the preparations for COP23, which will take place in Bonn, Germany, on 6-17 November. Ministers exchanged views on countries' political priorities and expectations for COP23 and discussed key issues concerning the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change. "At the conference next month, the international community will need to demonstrate its continued commitment to the Paris Agreement and make substantive progress on the work programme for its implementation", Commissioner Cañete said.
Opening of Slovak Exhibition in Auckland
The Amazing Planet Photo Exhibition by photographer and explorer Filip Kulisev was opened on Monday, 16 October, by the Embassy of Slovakia with presence of the EU Delegation, the Dutch Ambassador H.E. Rob Zaagman, and the Honorary Consul General of the Slovak Republic Peter Kiely. Amazing Planet will be open until 6 November at Aotea Centre in Auckland.
Latin America & Spain Film Festival 2017
The Embassy of Spain in Wellington invites to the 16th edition of the Latin America and Spain Film Festival 2017. The Festival has already started and is screening movies until the 11 November. It is dedicated to contemporary cinematographic productions from Latin America and Spain. A specially selected collection of 11 films will be presented, with the main goal to bring New Zealand’s audience closer to the history, culture and social developments of Latin America and Spain. The Festival is spread out all over the country and for the first time there will be screenings in Taupo, Queenstown and Waiheke. Entrance is FREE of charge. Find out more.
Dutch Film Festival – Auckland/Wellington
The Netherlands Embassy in New Zealand warmly invites you to the Dutch Film Festival in Auckland and Wellington in October and November 2017. Festival entry is free, and all three films are in Dutch with English subtitles. The Netherlands Ambassador H.E. Rob Zaagman will host opening nights with free drinks and Dutch food before the Michiel de Ruyter screenings in both cities. Reserve your tickets for Wellington and for Auckland. Find more information on the Netherlands Embassy Facebook page.
Keynote address by the President of Ireland - Auckland
The University of Auckland will host the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins during his state visit to New Zealand on 27 October. President Higgins will deliver a keynote address "Ireland and New Zealand - of some origins and prospects of two nations who share so many experiences and interests". A passionate political voice, a poet and writer, academic and statesman, human rights advocate, promoter of inclusive citizenship and champion of creativity within Irish society, the President has previously served at every level of public life in Ireland, including as Ireland's first Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht. Register for the event as space is limited.
Polish Film Festival – Wellington
The Embassy of Poland invites you to join the second edition of the Wellington Polish Film Festival – WPFF 2017. This year, the Polish Film Festival will be held at the award-winning Roxy Cinema in the heart of NZ’s movie-making capital Miramar. WPFF 2017 will present another year of exciting, contemporary, award winning and seldom-seen work from renowned and up and coming Polish filmmakers. Save the dates Friday 3 November – Sunday 12 November 2017! The 2017 programme is now live with tickets available online. It is also worth looking at the Polish Embassy's Facebook page. Zapraszamy na Festiwal Polskich Filmów Wellington 2017!
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