Humanitarian & Emergency Response

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As close friends and partners of Japan, we are very saddened by the devastation and loss of life caused by Typhoon Hagibis. While major rescue operations are still underway, we express our deepest condolences to the friends and families of the victims, and our sympathy to those affected.

Our thoughts are with the first responders working to save lives.

The European Union stands in full solidarity with Japan and is ready to provide any assistance that can be required at this difficult time.

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International Humanitarian Law ("IHL"), which seeks to limit the effects of armed conflict and to protect civilians and others not taking part in hostilities, is a cornerstone of modern international law. Nevertheless, despite States' universal acceptance of its rules and principles, violations of IHL - and the enormous suffering which this entails - is an ever-present feature of today's armed conflicts. Promoting respect for IHL therefore remains an urgent challenge for the international community.

In the aftermath of two devastating earthquakes that hit Albania and ensuing flash floods the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated by the Albanian authorities. In an immediate response, the European Union has already helped mobilise first aid supplies and relief items, such as tents, power generators and water pumps to the affected areas.

This is a key year for International Humanitarian Law, as 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions. As the risk humanitarian workers face continues to increase, the European Union pays tribute to the commitment of those who risk their lives to deliver humanitarian aid worldwide.

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The Council today adopted conclusions welcoming the publication of the first joint synthesis report of the EU and its member states on ''Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals across the world'' as an important contribution to EU reporting at the High Level Political Forum in 2019. The Council welcomes the collective contribution of the EU and its member states to the implementation of all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the world, leveraging all means of implementation, in support of the 2030 Agenda.

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini has presented the third progress report on the implementation of the European Union Global Strategy, “The EU Global Strategy in Practice - Three years on, looking forward”, which will be discussed by the EU Foreign and Defence Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council on 17 June 2019 in Luxembourg. The report looks at the progress achieved over the past three years, since the presentation of the Global Strategy in June 2016, in five priority areas - the security of the Union, state and social resilience to our east and south, an integrated approach to conflicts and crises, cooperative regional orders and global governance for the 21st century - and provides possible orientations for the way forward in the coming years.

Relations between the European Union and Armenia are based on the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership
Agreement (CEPA), a modern, comprehensive and ambitious Agreement, which was signed on 24 November 2017 in the margins of the
Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels and entered into provisional application on 1 June 2018. This Agreement provides a framework
for Armenia and the EU to work together for the benefit of the citizens of Armenia in the areas of strengthening democracy and
human rights, creating more jobs and business opportunities, fairer rules, more safety and security, cleaner environment as well as
better education and opportunities for research.

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The Council today adopted a set of conclusions concerning the implementation by the EU of the United Nations' 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, which was established in 2015 and comprises a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Given the horizontal nature of the 2030 Agenda, its implementation requires a cross-policy approach by the EU and its member states. Earlier this year, the Commission published a reflection paper "Towards an ever more sustainable Union by 2030," to which the conclusions are a response.

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