As the Athens Ministerial Meeting is convening in a virtual formal, we reflect on how the foreign ministers of the 47 member states, the observer states and the EU must work to ensure respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law during the ongoing public health crisis and beyond. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the success of the Council of Europe’s first E-Chairmanship, initiated by the Greek Chairmanship as a result of the public health crisis.
The protection of journalists and media workers and the fight against impunity for crimes committed against them are crucial in a context where access to verified and diverse information becomes increasingly challenged. In the face of numerous and multifaceted attacks, the European Union reaffirms its commitment to protect journalists and media workers and to defend the right to freedom of expression and to information, guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
Today we celebrate one of the greatest achievements in history: the birth of the United Nations 75 years ago! The UN was founded to rebuild trust and cooperation among people; to bring peace in a world stranded by a devastating war. All the European Union’s institutions, including the EEAS turn blue to mark this anniversary, to show once again how deep and strong the EU commitment to the UN is; to pay tribute to an achievement that needs to be preserved, and equipped, to face new challenges.
In January 2020, the UN launched the global consultation to mark its 75th anniversary. One million people have already raised their voice, with over 87% believing that global cooperation is vital to deal with today’s challenges, and that the pandemic has made international cooperation more urgent. UNIDO stands ready to enhance its cooperation with the EU and partner countries to respond to the crises and build a better future together, while contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.