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.
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 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.
Poverty is a calamity that affects millions of lives and has to be overcome in our days. For the EU, the eradication of poverty has been a key priority in its external action. Support provided by the EU has contributed to a global positive trend to put an end to the phenomenon. The global pandemic is challenging this trend. On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, it is time to reflect on how societies must come together to combat poverty across the globe.
Food is the essence of life and yet it is something that we may take for granted. The COVID-19 global health crisis has made us rethink the things we truly cherish and our most basic needs. One of these is food. Preserving access to safe and nutritious food is an essential part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for poor and vulnerable communities, hit hardest by the pandemic. The EU is committed to tackle global hunger and contribute to the accomplishment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 2: ZERO HUNGER
Within the framework of the EU CBRN Centres of Excellence Initiative, the Regional Secretariat for Central Asia (CA) and the Regional Secretariat for South East & Eastern Europe (SEEE) have conducted their third Interregional Webinar dedicated to “COVID-19 Laboratory Diagnostics and Virology” on 14 October 2020.
15/10/2020 - Last week, together with Commissioner Janez Lenarčič, I travelled to hand-over anti-COVID-19 material to the African Union Centre for Disease Control; to discuss with our African Union counterparts how to strengthen the EU-AU partnership in a post-pandemic world; and to underscore our support for the on-going reforms in Ethiopia, at a difficult moment.