European Parliament visits NZ
This week, the European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Australia and New Zealand (DANZ) visited Wellington and met with their counterparts, Government representatives and other stakeholders in NZ. The MEP delegation was led by its Chair Ms. Ulrike Müller. The visit's aim is to further strengthen relations between NZ and the EU on a parliamentary level, and to discuss matters high on the bilateral agenda, such as trade relations, fight against climate change, development assistance and science & technology. The delegation is also holding meetings with academic and business partners in Auckland.
EU co-chairs Reconstruction of Iraq Conference
The EU co-chaired the International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq, held in Kuwait from 12 to 14 February. The three-day event sought to mobilise international support for Iraq at a crucial time in the country's history following the territorial defeat of Da'esh in 2017. In co-chairing the conference, the EU aimed to renew and reinforce international commitments to the Iraqi people and government. HRVP Mogherini, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, and Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica have said "The EU will remain a key partner to Iraq and the Iraqi people in reconstruction, stabilisation and longer term sustainable development".
HRVP Mogherini participated in the meeting of the Ministers of the Global Coalition Against Da'esh. She had meetings with her counterparts from Oman, Turkey, Australia and the US. In addition, she met with the Iraqi PM, the GCC Secretary General, the Emir and Kuwait Foreign Minister and the UN Secretary General.
This year, the UN and the EU will be collaborating to mark the 70th anniversary of the Declaration. Thanks to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the dignity of millions has been uplifted, untold human suffering prevented, and the foundations for a most just world have been laid. Each year we become closer and closer to achieving a world that reflects the Declaration. But we are not there yet! While its promise is yet to be fulfilled, the very fact that it has stood the test of time is testament to the enduring universality of its values of equality, justice and human dignity.
Find out more about the Declaration here.
To take your Human Rights Pledge, click here.
HRVP Mogherini: Why European defence does not mean army
European defence has sometimes been seen as synonymous for the creation of a European army. This however, is not the path chosen by the EU and its Member States, said EU High Representative Federica Mogherini in a speech delivered on 12 February in Rome.“What we have built is even more ambitious than a European army," said Mogherini. "We want a European defence based on a European industrial system, on European technologies, on a European defence market. We want our Member States to invest together, decide together and act together. And now we finally have the tools to build it together."
Read more here on European defence.
International Day against use of Child Soldiers
12 February marks the International Day against use of Child Soldiers, also known as Red Hand Day. According to the UN, the use of child soldiers is on the rise in countries such as South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria and Iraq. The abuse, both physical and psychological, that these children experience is so acute they will spend the rest of their lives trying to recover from the horrors that they have experienced, enacted and witnessed. Education is one of the best tools to help girls and boys build a peaceful and prosperous future; it is crucial for both the development and protection of children affected by conflict. Educational activities provide girls and boys with psycho-social support and help create at least some sense of normality. The EU firmly believes that children belong in schools, not on the frontline.
EU in Pyeongchang 2018
This year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is launching an 'Olympic Festivals' concept, which will be piloted during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The National Olympic Committees are to broadcast the Games in participating countries. EU Member States Belgium, Croatia, Finland, France, Italy, The Netherlands and Slovenia were confirmed as the first participants.
Did you know that all 28 Member States of the European Union are participating in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games? The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea is counting the number of medals of the EU countries!
Follow this link to keep up to date via Facebook.
2nd Pacific Climate Change Conference
The 2nd Pacific Climate Change Conference will be from 21-23 February at Te Papa, Wellington. Climate change is already changing the nature of the weather and the seasonal climate, with rising sea levels across the globe. The European Union is a principal partner of the Pacific. Two key areas of cooperation are climate change adaptation and building climate resilience across the region. How climate change affects the oceans and the life within the oceans, is central to the future of the planet and nowhere is climate and ocean change a more urgent issue than in the Pacific. The talk will report on steps being taken on a national level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to slow the rate of climate change.
Click here to register and to find out more.
Celebrate European cultural heritage in NZ Festival
The New Zealand Festival is one of the country's most prestigious cultural events. For three weeks, once every two years, the Festival fills Wellington with the best arts and artists from around the world. This year, it will take place between the 23 February and 18 March. Hundreds of international acts will be showcased all over NZ's capital, including an array of European acts such as an Irish interpretation of Swan Lake and performances by Swedish singer Annie Sofie von Otter. 2018 is the Year of European Cultural Heritage and at the NZ Festival you will see it on display.
To purchase tickets for all events, click here.
Follow the hashtag #Europe4culture to see how European cultural heritage is being celebrated world-wide.
EUVP Applications now open for 2019!
The European Union Visitors Programme (EUVP) aims to provide professionals from non-EU countries with an increased understanding of the Union's policies, Institutions and achievements through their visit. New Zealand and Australia have participated in the EUVP programme since 1983 sending over 138 visitors to Europe during that time.
The length of the EUVP visit is normally 5 working days in Brussels. The programme consists of meetings with officials at the EU institutions in Brussels and where relevant, in Strasbourg and/or Luxembourg. All programmes are coordinated and arranged by the EUVP Secretariat and not by the individual participants or by the EU Delegation in New Zealand. Travel and per diem costs are covered by the EUVP.
For information about the application process, click here.
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