06/05/2021 - HR/VP Blog – This week, I spent two days in London, meeting the foreign ministers of the G7 countries and of the Indo-Pacific region. We had thorough discussions on the main geopolitical issues and agreed to act more closely together in order to build an open, democratic and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.
On 29 April, the European Union, Viet Nam and Australia co-chaired the 12th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Inter-Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security (ISM). The ARF ISM was held virtually. Officials of the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Union Naval Force Operation Atalanta, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam and from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia represented the respective delegations. More than 100 officials from ARF members attended this meeting.
Over the past year, there was a “dramatic deterioration in people's access to information and an increase in obstacles to news coverage”, according to Reporters Without Borders. 78 journalists have been killed since 2020. World Press Freedom Day pays tribute
At a time when independent and free media reporting is more essential than ever, press freedom continues to be under threat. Journalists continue to experience harsh working conditions with increasing financial and political pressure, surveillance, arbitrary prison sentences or violence for doing their work. According to the UNESCO Observatory, 76 journalists were killed since 2020, while many more were arrested, harassed or threatened worldwide. Of particular concern is gender-based violence targeting women journalists.
With 897 million school children around the world affected by disruptions to their education, senior officials from UNICEF and the European Union reiterated their support to ensure the right to education for all.
Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Australian wild fires, heat records, oceans filling with plastic and the worst locust invasion in Kenya, as well as a record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season. Now we face COVID -19, a worldwide health pandemic linked to the health of our ecosystem.
20/04/2021 – HRVP Blog – Tensions are rising fast in and around Ukraine. At the Foreign Affairs Council, we have sent a clear signal of our collective support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in front of Russia’s military deployment and its continued negative actions and provocations.