The coronavirus has not only Europe but the entire global community in its grip and is the world’s common enemy. An enemy we can only defeat with a global approach and cross-border coordination. And while we have to mobilise all our resources to fight the virus at home, now is also the time to look beyond our borders, most specifically at our sister continent Africa and the Southern Neighbourhood, as well as at the Western Balkans, the Middle East, and parts of Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Because solidarity cannot be an empty word and also because for as long as the virus will not be eradicated everywhere, it will remain a threat to all of us.
High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell held a phone call with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, on 8 April 2020. The call focused on the severe global impact of the coronavirus pandemic and, in particular, its effect in the most vulnerable parts of the world.
Today, the European Union is launching its “Team Europe” package to support partner countries in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences. The objective of the “Team Europe” approach is to combine resources from the EU, its Member States, and financial institutions, in particular the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
In view of the so-called 'presidential and parliamentary elections' in Nagorno-Karabakh on 31 March 2020, the European Union reiterates that it does not recognise the constitutional and legal framework within which they are being held. This event cannot prejudice the determination of the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh or the outcome of the ongoing negotiation process.
The European Union adds its voice to the call by the UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen for an immediate and nationwide ceasefire across Syria, particularly in view of the coronavirus pandemic. The recently agreed ceasefire in Idlib remains fragile. It must be upheld and extended to the whole of Syria.
The latest report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) confirms that the practice of arbitrary detention, torture and the ill-treatment of conflict-related detainees in eastern Ukraine continues. All sides must respect their obligations under international human rights and humanitarian law.
COVID-19 will reshape our world. We don’t yet know when the crisis will end. But we can be sure that by the time it does, our world will look very different. How different will depend on the choices we make today.