“Children have a key role to play in building a present and a future where peace will prevail. It is our responsibility to enable them to be such agents of change”, says EU-UN statement on International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers
07/02/2021 – HR/VP Blog – I went to Moscow this week to test, through principled diplomacy, whether the Russian government was interested in addressing differences and reversing the negative trend in our relations. The reaction I received points visibly in a different direction. So, as EU we will have to reflect on the broader implications and chart a way forward. We are at a crossroads. The main parameters of the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century are being drawn.
In some parts of the world, girls under 18 are circumcised and assumed ready for marriage. Ester recalls that she was very excited and agreed to this “BUT when the day came and already cut, oh God I was like half dead,” she cried. Female genital mutilation is a crime and a violation of human rights. It cannot be justified as a cultural or traditional practice. The practice has been around for more than a thousand years, and continues to persist until this very day, further impacted by the shadow pandemic, disrupting efforts for its elimination. But change is possible, and it is happening.
No woman or girl should suffer from violence. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a severe violation of human rights and an act of violence against women and girls. It is estimated that more than 200 million women and girls worldwide have suffered from FGM. In Europe, at least 600,000 women and girls are living with the consequences of FGM, often severely affecting their health and well-being, even endangering their lives. COVID-19 has disrupted prevention programmes, seriously undermining progress towards reducing this heinous practice. Any backward step puts thousands of women and girls at risk.
04/02/2021 – HR/VP Blog – On Monday, I spoke to the Robert Schuman Foundation about our priorities for this year: easing tensions in our neighbourhood, opening a new chapter in our relationship with the United States, rebalancing our relations with China, putting European strategic autonomy into practice and reviving multilateralism.
03/02/2021 – HR/VP blog – The Arctic is a fascinating region and Arctic affairs are becoming ever more geopolitically important. The impact of climate change, security issues and rivalries are growing, as is the need for cooperation and multilateral agreements.
30/01/2021 – HR/VP Blog – On 1 January 2021, Brexit took full effect, with the UK becoming a ‘third country’. While the public debate has focused on the economic fallout, we also need to decide how the EU and the UK can cooperate on foreign and security policy. On 25 January, EU Foreign Ministers discussed the issue, giving their guidance, with EU unity and interests as the central thread.