On 19 May in Brussels, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Latvian Foreign Ministry, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, took part in the meeting of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council in the configuration of ministers for development cooperation. The main items on the agenda were the approval of the EU development cooperation policy, the EU’s relationship with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific after 2020, and the major recent humanitarian crises
The Council approved the framework document for the EU’s development cooperation policy for the next 15 years – a New European Consensus on Development, “Our World, our Dignity, our Future”.
The Parliamentary Secretary noted that the issues important for Latvia are good governance, the responsibility of partner countries for their own development, gender equality, reducing inequality, tackling the root causes of migration, and environmental sustainability. The EU should also go ahead with support for the medium-income countries: this includes the Eastern Partnership and Central Asian states which are our priority in terms of security and development, emphasised Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica in a discussion on the new strategy for development cooperation.
In talks on the EU’s further relationship with the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, Latvia supports the building of a pragmatic and effective partnership extending beyond the donor-recipient relations. Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica noted that it is vital to foster the partner countries’ responsibility for their own development, as well as reducing their dependency on development assistance provided by the EU. In view of the three regions’ different conditions and interests, we support regional-tailored partnerships, namely, building in-depth relations with each of the regions separately, the Parliamentary Secretary said.
The Council also discussed humanitarian crises in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Yemen, and Syria. The participants stressed that coordination among all the involved parties should be promoted and effective political and financial solutions should be sought at the EU and international level.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the ministers for development met with Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations to share views on the implementation in the EU of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted in September 2015. The goals of the 2030 Agenda are to be implemented in all countries across the globe regardless of their development level.
The Parliamentary Secretary confirmed that Latvia is going to present its voluntary national report on the implementation of the agenda at the UN High-Level Political Forum in 2018.
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