Freedom of expression, in all its forms, is the very essence of democracy. Only with a thriving, free and independent media landscape, we can hold governments, businesses and society at large accountable. And precisely for this fundamental right, far too often, journalists and media workers are attacked, persecuted, harassed, or intimidated for carrying out their work. Most journalists are not wounded in the heat of war coverage, but suffer violence in our immediate surroundings. In 2018 alone, 94 journalists and media staff were killed in work-related incidents as reported by the International Federation of Journalists. Hundreds more have been subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention without ever having been tried in a court.
Climate change is a global threat and demands global action: the more countries join forces, the bigger the chances we can master this major challenge of our generation. The European Union, Iceland and Norway today agreed to extend their cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
The European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe firmly oppose the death penalty at all times and in all circumstances. The death penalty is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment contrary to the right to life. The death penalty means revenge, not justice, and its abolition contributes to the enhancement of human dignity.
Today, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Ann Linde, and European Commissioner Karmenu Vella released the following statement on the EU Arctic Forum held in Umeå (Sweden):
The EU High Representative Federica Mogherini has firmly committed the Union to join and support a new Franco-German initiative called the "Alliance of Multilateralism". The aim is to promote international cooperation at a time of rising nationalism and isolationism.
Two important summits took place in the margins of UNGA this week - The UN Climate Action Summit and the UN Summit on Sustainable Development Goals - where the EU expressed its strong commitment on accomplishing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development towards a peaceful and prosperous world, with human well-being on a healthy planet at its core.
Every year in September, the world leaders gather in New York to take part in the General Debate that marks the opening of the latest session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) during a week traditionally filled with high level events, summits, and intense diplomatic activities.