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The European Union welcomes the actions taken by Armenia and Azerbaijan and facilitated by Georgia that led to the release by Azerbaijan of 15 Armenian detainees and the handing over by Armenia of maps of mined areas on Saturday. 

These are important humanitarian and confidence building gestures by Baku and Yerevan that will hopefully open the path for further cooperation between the sides and the ultimate release of all Armenian detainees, as well as the handing over of all available maps of mined areas to avoid further civilian casualties. 

“I used to be very afraid when going to school and struggling to concentrate on my studies” says Chinsisi, a 14-year-old brave boy with albinism defying odds to remain in school and study. Object of myths fuelled by superstition, people with albinism like Chinsisi, face multiple forms of discrimination worldwide.

The Senior Officials of the International Contact Group (ICG) met on Friday, through video conference, to discuss the latest developments in Venezuela. They were also debriefed by Special Adviser of the High Representative for Venezuela Enrique Iglesias, and by representatives of Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations on the humanitarian situation in the country.

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On International Albinism Awareness Day, 13 June, the EU stands up for persons with albinism around the world, supporting them in their fight for a life free of discrimination, stigmatisation and violence. 

“I have never gone to school because my parents do not have resources”, says Ruth, a 14-year old girl from Cameroon. "I am aware of the dangers down there in the mine, […] but I do not have another choice”. COVID-19 exacerbated the root causes driving children like Ruth into work. 2021, the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, is the time to redouble our efforts to get back on track

On Tuesday 15 June, a high-level meeting of the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue will take place in Brussels. It will be facilitated by High Representative Josep Borrell, who is supported in this by EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajčák. President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić and Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti will participate. There will be a statement to the media by the High Representative at the start of the meeting at 8:20 and a statement to the media by the EU Special Representative after the conclusion of the meeting (around 13:00).

The Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will resume in a physical format this Saturday 12 June in Vienna.

The Joint Commission will be chaired, on behalf of EU High Representative Josep Borrell, by the Deputy Secretary General/Political Director of the European External Action Service, Enrique Mora. It will be attended by representatives of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and Iran.

In 2021, we mark the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. Despite the progress made globally over the years, in 2020, there were still 160 million children in child labour, with 79 million children trapped in hazardous work. This is a heavy blow, as for the first time in the past 20 years, we see an increase in the number of children in child labour. Millions of children further risk falling victim to child labour due to the coronavirus pandemic and its socio-economic consequences.

The EU firmly condemns the actions of the Nicaraguan authorities against opposition parties, media, journalists and other media workers, human rights defenders and civil society, including the systematic detention and arrest of potential presidential candidates and opposition leaders. The political use of the judicial system, the exclusion of candidates from the elections and the arbitrary delisting of opposition parties are contrary to basic democratic principles and constitute a serious violation of the rights of the Nicaraguan people under the Nicaraguan Constitution and under International Law.

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