This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child - the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history that has helped transform children's lives around the world for the better.
Freedom of expression, in all its forms, is the very essence of democracy. Only with a thriving, free and independent media landscape, we can hold governments, businesses and society at large accountable. And precisely for this fundamental right, far too often, journalists and media workers are attacked, persecuted, harassed, or intimidated for carrying out their work. Most journalists are not wounded in the heat of war coverage, but suffer violence in our immediate surroundings. In 2018 alone, 94 journalists and media staff were killed in work-related incidents as reported by the International Federation of Journalists. Hundreds more have been subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention without ever having been tried in a court.
The creation, development and diffusion of knowledge, technologies and innovations are powerful drivers of inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development. Knowledge and skill diffusion are considered key to the reduction of inequality both within and between countries. As such, investments in Research and Innovation (R&I) capability are instrumental to the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
With European prosperity and Asian peace and security closely connected, the European Union has decided to strengthen its security cooperation in and with Asia. This is also in line with the steps taken by the EU in the past years to strengthen its role as a global security provider: Europe and Asia share a fundamental interest in upholding the rules-based international system, as well as the view that the challenges the world faces today go beyond national borders and cannot be tackled alone. The EU-Asia security partnership is therefore both desirable and necessary.
The European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe firmly oppose the death penalty at all times and in all circumstances. The death penalty is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment contrary to the right to life. The death penalty means revenge, not justice, and its abolition contributes to the enhancement of human dignity.
A trade seminar to explore the benefits of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU), Fiji and Papua New Guinea (PNG) to Pacific businesses, local exporters and importers will be hosted by the Delegation of the European Union (EU) for the Pacific in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific's School of Economics in Suva on October 2nd.
On the occasion of the International Day of Democracy, the European Union reaffirms its commitment towards democracy as a fundamental right of every human being. Every woman and every man has to be free to participate to the political, economic and social life of her or his country. No one should fear to speak up, to demonstrate peacefully, to go to vote or to expect fair and inclusive policies from a government. Democracy can only function if participation and trust between democratic state institutions, governments and citizens are guaranteed.
On this first International Day commemorating the victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief, we pay tribute to all those around the world who lost their lives and suffered attacks because of their religion or belief. Persecution as a response to religious belief or affiliation, or lack thereof, is a violation of international law and requires joint work to combat it.
On 13 – 16 August, Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action Service, Christian Leffler led the EU delegation to the 50th Pacific Islands Forum leaders' meetings in Funafuti. The Partners Dialogue session and bilateral meetings with the Pacific countries’ leaders and senior officials in the PIF summit margins provided the possibility to address the strategic priorities, which the EU supports and wants to see reflected in the future Pacific - EU partnership.