The Council today adopted conclusions on oceans and seas, stressing that climate change is a direct and existential threat to life in oceans and seas globally. It calls for increased policy action at all levels of government to protect marine and coastal ecosystems. It notes with great concern the warming of European regional seas at a higher pace than average.
In light of the continuing rise in violence in Hong Kong, including the latest developments at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, it is crucial that all sides exercise restraint and engage constructively in de-escalation efforts. Any violence is unacceptable. Actions by the law enforcement authorities must remain strictly proportionate, while fundamental freedoms, including the right of peaceful assembly of Hongkongers, must be upheld.
Yesterday's parliamentary elections in the Republic of Belarus took place in an overall calm atmosphere. Nevertheless, it was a lost opportunity to conduct elections fully in line with international standards.
Presidential elections in Sri Lanka took place on Saturday 16 November. The election campaign and process have unfolded in an overall peaceful environment, despite reports of a few violent incidents. This confirms the stability of the democratic institutions and attachment of the Sri Lankan people to their fundamental rights and freedoms after the brutal Easter Sunday terrorist attacks.
Around 100 media professionals, donors, EU officials and representatives of media development organisations met in Riga, Latvia, on 13-14 November for “The Eastern Partnership Media Conference 2019: Business and Sustainability". The Conference was an opportunity to discuss strategies for increasing the viability of independent media in Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries, and was organised by the European Commission with the support of the European External Action Service and the Government of Latvia.