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Let me warmly welcome our two friends Nadia [Murad, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2018] and Denis [Dr Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2018] - two old friends of the European Union. I had the honour to meet them already in Strasbourg in both cases on the occasion of them receiving the Sakharov Prize. It is really a pleasure and an honour for me to welcome them here in Brussels on the occasion of the Development Ministers' meeting. On the day after the International Day for the elimination of violence against women, I think it is particularly relevant for us to send this strong message together. I thought that this was the best way to celebrate that day - not only aiming at political declarations, but at having concrete work on the ground.
The European Union has launched last year the Spotlight Initiative – €500 million to start with – to eliminate violence against women all over the world in partnership with the United Nations. And we have always supported the work that both Nadia and Denis are doing in their respective circumstances, in their respective countries. We have always been at their sides, proudly. And today I am proud to announce that we have decided to allocate an additional €5 million to support their projects. This is an additional support that we are proud to give them. Through them we know that we are reaching out to communities that are in enormous need not only to have advocates that are as brave and courageous and good as they are, but also friends as we can be, to support their work.
I let them introduce themselves – although I do not think they need an introduction, especially after having received the Nobel Peace Prize, I think the entire world knows their stories and their work, which we already knew and that we have always enormously admired and - most importantly - supported. And we are committed to continue supporting their work.
Je vais commencer par donner la parole à mon ami Denis [Mukwege], en le remerciant d'être avec nous aujourd'hui et de partager avec les ministres le travail qu'il fait et le travail que nous pouvons faire ensemble. Merci beaucoup d'être là.
Shukran [, Nadia Murad].
I think there is no better word than theirs. We have one responsibility and one duty, which is to work to support their work and to make their work ours every single day of the year.
I will now be pleased to introduce them to the Development Ministers and we will continue our working session together with them on concrete projects that we can do together. Thank you very much.
Link to the video: https://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I164294