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Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission
We had today a very intense Council with the DevelopmentMinisters and part of it also with the Environment Ministers on the implementation of the SDG - Sustainable Development Goals. The European Union has played a very important part in achieving these results of having the goals approved in New York in the UN system. Now, it is the responsibility that we have as Europeans to start the implementation of them quickly and smoothly.
We had with the Development Ministers a very substantial discussion on migration and the ways in which development instruments and policies can help managing the phenomenon together with our partners,namely in Africa, and the preparation for the Valletta summit.
This was mainly the core of the discussions that we had today- very productive, very concrete, very positive, and also the beginning of the reflection on the post- Cotonou agreement, what is the future of our relation with the ACP, to strengthen the political relationship, the political partnership with our partners in Africa, in the Caribbean, in the Pacific, going beyond an "aid only" approach and having a more political partnership with them.
Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development
Yes, indeed. A very substantial agenda of the Foreign AffairsDevelopment Council today. It seems that the overall development agenda is getting loaded with very many global and European issues. So, the Council discussed and adopted a number of conclusions and a range of issues reflecting the implementation of the sustainable development goals to the post-Cotonou 2020 reflections on how to shape the future partnership with the African Caribbean and Pacific countries.
I would like to point out two decisions that I really would like to welcome:
Firstly, the decision to adopt the gender action plan which would strengthen the overall European engagement in the empowerment of women and girls and the gender equality, especially when it comes to making our projects, programmes very concrete and targeted to that goal.
Secondly, the reflection on the link between migration, refugees and development in tackling the root causes of migration.
So, the Council also decided on launching the High-level consultations with the Burundianauthorities envisaged under Article 96 of the Cotonou agreement, which actually would lead us, hopefully, to the common understanding of the issues needed to address the concerns of the European Union when it comes to human rights, rule of law, respect of democratic values in Burundi.
Link to the video: