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In a more challenging global environment, the European Union needs to step up its actions to enhance its ability to preserve peace, prevent conflicts, and strengthen international security. By proposing a new European Peace Facility (EPF) the European Union is taking on more responsibility as a global security provider.

The European Peace Facility is a proposed off-budget fund for the duration of the next Multiannual Financial Framework, designed to prevent conflicts, preserve peace and strengthen international security around the world, for the benefit of our citizens and our partners and their populations.

If there is one thing that 27 EU member states agree on it is that we all believe in rules-based multilateralism. We repeat, almost mantra like, that we want a strong UN as the beating heart of the multilateral system. The Security Council is the world’s highest multilateral authority and it has the last word on matters of peace and security. I was very pleased to address the Security Council on the EU-UN cooperation (see here) and to express the EU’s strong support for the UN’s work, with concrete contributions in many areas and especially on peace and security.

The Council adopted conclusions reaffirming the EU's political commitment to support the people of Afghanistan on their path towards peace, security, stability, democracy, prosperity and self-reliance. The EU will condition its future political and financial support to ensure that the republican, democratic and values-based principles are protected and further promoted. The conclusions also reiterate the EU's support for a negotiated political settlement leading to lasting peace and reconciliation, which must build on the democratic and human rights achievements of the past 19 years.

The EU-Japan strategic partnership is based on longstanding cooperation, shared values and principles such as democracy, the rule of law, human rights, good governance, multilateralism and open market economies. Japan is one of the EU’s closest, like-minded partners. Under the Strategic Partnership Agreement, the EU and Japan are strengthening their relations across a wide range of areas, from enhanced political cooperation to trade and investment, from development to the digital transformation, from climate action to research and innovation, and from security cooperation to sustainable growth.

H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, H.E. Mr. Charles Michel, President of the European Council, and H.E. Dr. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, held a Leaders' meeting via VTC on 26 May 2020. The leaders expressed their deepest sympathy with the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. They recognised that global solidarity, cooperation and effective multilateralism are required more than ever to defeat the virus as well as to ensure economic recovery. They reaffirmed their strong commitment to continue tackling global challenges together in the international arena based upon the close and strong Japan-EU relations.

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”Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything”. Plato, one of our greatest ancient philosophers of all time, has cited the importance of music in our lives.

This quote is very much still timely to this very day especially as the whole world is fighting this corona virus pandemic.

Viva Europa, European Union’s cultural showcase this summer is on!

Starting 25 May until 6 June, you will get the latest cultural treat online as Viva Europa now comes into the comforts of your homes at the flick of your fingertips amidst this COVID19 situation.

Mr Thomas Wiersing, Chargé d’ Affaires, a.i., EU Delegation to the Philippines said that Viva Europa 2020 aims to showcase the best of European music, arts and crafts, literature, films, and astronomy.

I regret the announcement by the United States to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty. The Treaty on Open Skies is a key element of our arms-control architecture and serves as a vital confidence and security-building measure.

Since it came into force in 2002, this agreement has enabled to carry out more than 1.500 reconnaissance missions over the territories of all the signatory states.

The treaty provides transparency and predictability. It is an important contribution to European and global security and stability.

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On 21 May, a spokesperson for China’s National People’s Congress announced that the upcoming NPC session will deliberate on a draft bill to “establish and improve the legal framework and enforcement mechanism in order to safeguard national security in Hong Kong”.

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