On 25-26 October 2021, the capital city of Rwanda, Kigali, hosted the Second African Union (AU) - European Union (EU) Ministerial Meeting to discuss preparation for the next AU-EU Summit, scheduled to take place in Brussels on 17-18 February 2022.

The ministerial meeting took stock of current cooperation between the EU and the AU. Ministers shared opinions on the ways of strengthening cooperation, especially in the areas such as education and science, security, good governance, migration and mobility.

Both organisations see a considerable potential for investment into the economies of African countries, focusing on digital and green transition and the recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic. The participants recognised that the global pandemic had considerably aggravated the existing economic problems, enhanced conflicts and reduced resilience to various challenges. The accessibility of the COVID-19 vaccines in Africa is considerably lagging behind the possibilities in developed countries; therefore, improving the situation in this regard is one of the main goals set by countries in this continent. An agreement was also reached concerning further work to build a uniform EU-AU position on addressing global challenges. 

Latvia was represented at the meeting by the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Affairs and Multilateralism at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sanita Pavļuta-Deslandes, who expressed support for closer cooperation in addressing global challenges in the areas of climate change, green and digital transformations, as well as peacekeeping. Latvia is prepared to share its experience with the implementation of digital solutions and best practice of building the necessary capacity in the above-mentioned areas, including assistance with the strengthening of gender equality. The Ambassador thanked African partners for their support for the adoption of a UNGA resolution co-sponsored by Latvia on countering the spread of disinformation and misinformation; she highlighted it as a global challenge that could only be tackled by joint efforts.

Before the ministerial meeting, the representatives of EU Member States visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial to pay tribute to the victims.

Foto: Fils Images