On 9 December 2019, the Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, participated in the meeting of the European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. Josep Borrell Fontelles, the new EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, chaired the Foreign Affairs Council for the first time.
Having assumed his post, Josep Borrell had included in the ministers’ agenda a comprehensive debate on the further preparation and working methods of Foreign Affairs Council. The ministers also discussed and shared views on the relations between the EU and Africa, future cooperation and a new comprehensive strategy for African countries.
At the Foreign Affairs Council, the foreign ministers discussed with keen attention the situation with human rights in the world and work to implement the EU human rights policy with an eye to the upcoming international Human Rights Day to be marked on 10 December, the date when in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Human Rights Declaration.
The Foreign Minister welcomes the political agreement on the EU Global Human Rights Sanction Regime, which corresponds to the Magnitsky Act.
From Latvia’s perspective, the EU should stand up firmly for human rights, in view of the increasing number of human rights violations across the globe, Edgars Rinkēvičs asserted. He noted that the imposition of a sanctions regime in response to human rights violations is the most suitable way of reducing and preventing such violations. The EU should be united in the establishment of such a sanctions regime to address human rights violations, Foreign Minister Rinkēvičs underlined.
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