On 25 November 2019, the Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica, took part in the meeting of the European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs Council (Development) in Brussels, Belgium.
EU Foreign Ministers had an exchange of views on the future financial architecture for development cooperation. It is not only the amount of funding that matters, but also the manner in which contributions to sustainable development of partner countries is provided. In her remarks to the participants, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica said that Latvia supports closer cooperation between the existing financial institutions, which would make it possible to be more efficient already at this point in time. As a long term solution, she said, we are also prepared to consider consolidating and streamlining of the external action by EU development banks into a single entity. At the same time, reforms should avoid creating additional financial commitments for the Member States, the Parliamentary Secretary added.
Changes in the financing system is in Latvia’s interests so that more Latvian companies could take part in projects implemented in developing countries. At the same time, Latvia calls for ensuring that sufficient attention and resources be also devoted to support for the European Neighbourhood Policy countries in the future.
The Parliamentary Secretary stressed the need for establishing an inclusive financial system allowing all Member States equal access. A horizontal priority should also be the mitigation of climate change.
At the meeting, Member States also discussed ways to provide further support for African countries to facilitate their economic growth and thereby address a number of long-standing problems, including the root causes of migration. The ministers agreed that education is key to sustainable development of the countries. Dr. Tilaye Gete, Minister of Education of Ethiopia, took part as a special guest in a discussion on the need for quality education, especially for women and girls.
Underlining the significance of the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women marked on 25 November and highlighting Latvia’s experience in facilitating education of women and girls in Central Asia as well as European Neighbourhood countries, the Parliamentary Secretary said that Latvia was prepared to offer its expertise to the African partners both bilaterally and in association with other donors.