18/10/2020. HR/VP blog. At our last Foreign Affairs Council, we took stock of our relations with Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) at a time when this region is going through a dramatic crisis because of COVID-19. This was also much needed because the region has lately not been high enough on our agenda: we must reverse this trend.
As announced by the President Ursula von der Leyen at the State of the European Union, the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy have today put forward a Joint Proposal for a Council Regulation concerning implementation of restrictive measures (sanctions) against serious human rights violations and abuses worldwide.
The Council today renewed the EU sanctions regime against ISIL/Da'esh and Al-Qaida and the related list of people subject to restrictive measures for another year until 31 October 2021. The decision was taken in light of the ongoing terrorist threat.
Today, the European Union disbursed €25 million of budget support for The Gambia's response to the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the Team Europe global package, these funds contribute to the recovery from the pandemic and also support the transition towards democracy and medium-term development objectives.
The European Union welcomes the joint announcement of a humanitarian ceasefire by Armenia and Azerbaijan, scheduled to start at 00.00 hrs (local time) last night, following the mediation efforts by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, in coordination with the other OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. The EU deplores that, unfortunately, violations continue, with reported fighting in and around Nagorno Karabakh. This leads to more civilian suffering. It aggravates the conflict between States and respective societies, rendering the healing of wounds even more difficult.
The release of detainees by the Yemeni parties on 15 and 16 October, in line with the agreement reached in Geneva last month, is a crucial step in the implementation of the 2018 Stockholm Agreement. It is also a reminder that progress can still be made through negotiation and compromise.
The European Union commends the work carried out by the International Committee of the Red Cross as well as the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and his office for facilitating the release of the detainees and their reunification with their families.
The European Union deplores the strikes on the Azerbaijani city of Ganja during the night of 16-17 October resulting in civilian loss of life and serious injury. All targeting of civilians and civilian installations by either party must stop.
The ceasefire of 10 October must be fully respected without delay.
17/10/2020 - HR/VP Blog - In times of crisis, we logically tend to focus on our own difficulties. Coming back from Africa, I would like to emphasise how much COVID-19 is reshaping the entire world economy. Let’s have a look around the globe to assess how the pandemic is changing the balance of wealth and power.