European Union Delegation to Singapore

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I was glad to participate on 9 July in a panel of renowned international affairs pundits from all continents, organised by our EU ISS and Carnegie, to discuss how we can navigate the pandemic world together.

On July 7, the Foreign ministers of Germany, France, Egypt and Jordan held an important discussion on the risks linked to the unilateral annexation of parts of the West Bank. Unfortunately I could not attend as I was travelling in order to deal with other equally important issues. The EU was represented by the Secretary General of the EEAS and the EU Special Representative for the Middle East.

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“Demography is destiny” said the sociologist Auguste Comte: the basic idea is that population trends and distributions determine the future of a country or region. Recently, my colleague Dubravka Suica, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for demography and democracy, provided us with an analysis of the foreseeable consequences of the demographic changes underway in Europe and globally. This work deserves our full attention, because this subject is both central to the Union's internal affairs and for its place in the world.

We need to build a common strategic culture in Europe. If we agree more on how we see the world and the challenges it contains, it will be easier to agree on what to do about them. Given our different histories, this will take time. It requires many discussions among all involved in the shaping of Europe’s foreign policy, both in Brussels and capitals. We need to understand where each of us is coming from; what worries people and why; but also what we have in common.

The EU welcomes Indonesia’s decision to allow safe disembarkation and provide humanitarian assistance and protection to the nearly 100 Rohingya refugees, mostly women and children, stranded off the northern coast of Aceh last week.

The rescue of the Rohingya refugees - facing dire conditions – respects international law and proves the generosity of the Indonesian people and government.

Torture denies the dignity of the human being. Its victims suffer both visible and invisible wounds. And this is still the horrifying reality today. On International Day in support of Victims of Torture, EU High Representative Josep Borrrell states “At a time when the world is joining efforts to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, human rights must remain at the core of our battle. On this day, we give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.”

On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we pay tribute to the victims of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. At a time when the world is joining efforts to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, human rights must remain at the core of our battle. On this day, we give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.

This year, World Refugee Day comes at a time when the world is facing a global pandemic that has already cost the lives of thousands of people and is affecting the livelihood of millions more. The struggle is even harder for refugees, internally displaced persons, migrants and stateless persons. With limited or no access to medical care and protection mechanisms, these people are more vulnerable to the effects of this global crisis.

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Vulnerable populations, including refugees, are at the heart of the Team Europe response to the COVID-19 crisis. On World Refugee Day 2020, the EU reaffirms its commitment to a world where nobody would need asylum

On the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, the UN and the EU join their voices to call on the international community to accelerate its action to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence: “We re-commit to working together to prevent conflict-related sexual violence, to protect its victims, to end impunity for its perpetrators and to guarantee access to justice, reparations and redress for survivors,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell and UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten said in a joint statement.

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