Delegation of the European Union to Syria

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Biodiversity is the root of all life, both on land and below water. It has an impact on human health, providing the air that we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, natural disease resistance, medicines, as well as climate change mitigation. The emergence of COVID-19 has proved that when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. Nature is sending us a message. Aptly, this year’s theme for World Environment Day is biodiversity – a concern that is both urgent and existential. Protecting nature and reversing degradation to ecosystems is at the heart of the EU Green Deal and is the rationale for the new EU biodiversity strategy for 2030.

In a more challenging global environment, the European Union needs to step up its actions to enhance its ability to preserve peace, prevent conflicts, and strengthen international security. By proposing a new European Peace Facility (EPF) the European Union is taking on more responsibility as a global security provider.

The European Peace Facility is a proposed off-budget fund for the duration of the next Multiannual Financial Framework, designed to prevent conflicts, preserve peace and strengthen international security around the world, for the benefit of our citizens and our partners and their populations.

The Council today extended EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime for one additional year, until 1 June 2021. In line with the EU strategy on Syria, the EU decided to maintain its restrictive measures against the Syrian regime and its supporters, as the repression of the civilian population continues.

On the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, we celebrate cultural diversity in the European Union and underline its importance in fostering dialogue and respect between people all around the world. Europe is a mosaic of diversity shaped by centuries of exchanges between different nations, languages and cultures.  

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). On this occasion, I want to focus this blog post on people who still suffer discrimination and violence because of their identity and because they cannot freely live and love according to their choice. More specifically, I want to pay tribute to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI+) community and to all the LGBTI+ activists who defend the right to be oneself.

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Today, we have been discussing the situation in the Southern Neighbourhood and the wider Middle East in light of the coronavirus pandemic, and on [the Middle East Peace Process] and the formation of the new Israeli government.

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