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Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the high-level officials and experts from Central Asia, the European Union and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) discussed further cooperation and coordination of efforts on environment and climate change during the first online meeting of the Coordination Committee of the European Union – Central Asia Working Group on Environment and Climate Change (WGECC) organized by the EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP).

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The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, held a video conference with the Foreign Ministers of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan on Friday 12 June. The High Representative exchanged views with the five Foreign Ministers on a range of regional and international issues, including the implementation of the EU’s Central Asia Strategy, repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, and regional cooperation in Central Asia including with Afghanistan.

The coronavirus crisis is creating a more competitive global environment, with confrontation growing faster than cooperation. As EU, we face rougher seas and risk getting caught in the cross-currents of major powers telling us to “pick a side”.

Blog of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the EU Josep Borrell

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, held a video conference with the Foreign Ministers of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan on Friday 12 June.

Languages:

The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, held a video conference with the Foreign Ministers of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan on Friday 12 June.

Languages:

The EU has a strategic interest in having stable and successful neighbours: we can only be secure and thrive if our neighbours do. With the current coronavirus crisis, it is now more relevant than ever to be able to support our partners to build more resilient and democratic societies.

Child labour affects 152 million children worldwide. The EU has been working with UNICEF and other partners to put an end to a phenomenon that takes childhood away and puts the future of millions of kids worldwide at risk. Earlier this week, EU High Representative Josep Borrell and UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, held a phone call during which they discussed ways to continue working together to fight the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, and agreed to jointly promote the education of children, including digital learning as a priority. “School is the most important equality producer in the world,” Borrell said. One of last year’s themes for the joint EU-UNICEF #TheRealChallenge social media campaign was child labour.

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Thank you to everybody who is following this press conference.

I have to say that today we have had another good example of how the Eastern Partnership remains at the heart of our foreign policy. This is one of the most important aspects of the external relations of the European Union.

It was an important meeting. 33 Foreign Ministers had the opportunity to demonstrate our unity and our commitment that we – the European Union - have with our Eastern neighbours and also to push for the future of this Partnership beyond 2020.

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