Tag Archives: conference

Borrell: EU ready to assist Sudan

“…I would like to start by paying tribute to the Sudanese people: women and youth in particular, who fought for peaceful change and for the ideals of freedom, peace and justice” said the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell at Sudan Partnership Conference.

“During my visit to Sudan last February, engaging with members of the civil society and students at Khartoum University, I was struck by their resilience, aspirations and determination.
It is thanks to their efforts and sacrifices that we are facing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring Sudan back on track in terms of peace, democratic governance and economic recovery.

“Sudan is today a light of hope in Africa and the transition process towards a fully democratic dispensation needs to be strongly supported and carefully nourished. We cannot fail the Sudanese people.

“I want to acknowledge the leadership of Prime Minister [of Sudan, Abdalla] Hamdok. All actors and political forces should align themselves in support of the Prime Minister. I call on the military to protect and support the transition. I call on the armed groups not to miss this opportunity to be part of the new Sudan, I call the Forces For Freedom and Change to maintain unity and cohesion on the road to reforms and elections.

“This, altogether, should allow for the swift establishment of the Transitional Legislative Council and the appointment of civilian state governors, as strong democratic institutions are key to any political transition.

“There have been many important legal reforms already achieved such as the criminalization of Female Genital Mutilation. But despite the difficult context, further exacerbated by the pandemic, political reforms need to continue.

“This is why the European Union – besides our support to the Office of the Prime Minister– will also become the main donor to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Sudan to ensure that the Government has the necessary tools and capacity to advance with the political reform agenda. The European Union also stands ready to assist Sudan with the upcoming elections.

“The economic track also needs to deliver. Unhappily, we have seen too often in the past how political transitions have been undermined by the lack of economic deliverables and dividends of the peace brought to the population. Whenever transitions have failed, the bill for the international community has been finally considerably higher. Thus, supporting Sudan’s transition here and now –because now is the time to do so- is not only an expression of solidarity, but an investment which is worth making for Sudan, for stability and development in the region, from Libya to the Central African Republic, from Egypt to Ethiopia, in order to set a reference for the world.

“In the run-up to this conference, we have been encouraged by the commitment of the international community at large to help Sudan at such critical juncture.
I call on all partners to work together to allow Sudan’s transformation and its reintegration in the international financial system. Our presence today will show -I hope- our collective determination from Europe to the Gulf, from North America to Asia.

“From our part, the European Union will be putting forward a sizeable pledge as a continuation of our strong support to the transition and commitment to improving the lives of the Sudanese population”.

Michel statement on Libya

“I would like to thank Chancellor Merkel, and the organisers of today’s conference, for your tireless work at this critical moment in the Libyan crisis” reads the statement of the EU Council president Charles Michel, issued after the Berlin Conferenece on Libya, which took place on Sunday, January 19.

It is encouraging to see the most influential regional and international partners come together in support of the UN-led efforts to find a political solution to the Libyan crisis.

As the EU has consistently stated, the only sustainable solution is through UN mediation efforts that put the needs of all Libyan people to the forefront.

I wish to reaffirm today the commitment of the European Union to the immediate cessation of hostilities in Libya in the interest of stability in its immediate neighborhood. We support the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Libya, and this in the interest of regional stability and prosperity – this is vital for Europe.

We have supported German-led mediation efforts launched last year in support of the UN peace process. I would like to pay special tribute to UN Special Representative Salame, who, under the authority of Secretary General Guterres, has made every effort to bring the parties to the negotiations table in order to find a political solution to the conflict.

We would like to encourage cooperation with the African Union and the League of Arab States.

In recent weeks, High Representative Borrell and I have worked to support the conclusion of a ceasefire and for the relaunch of the peace process.

We are committed to play an important role in the follow-up to the Berlin Conference. We represent Libya’s main economic partner and primary investor. Libyan youths look to Europe when they study abroad. Libya’s long term prosperity depends on these economic and cultural ties.

That is why the EU is gearing up to implement the outcome of the Berlin Conference. We are ready to mobilise our means where they are most needed.

In the short term, our contribution to the follow-up to this Conference, we are reflecting on how best to contribute to the monitoring of the ceasefire and the respect of the arms embargo. On the arms embargo, the EU was the only regional organisation to enforce it after 2016. We intend to continue that effort, working with our partners around this table, to cover all the corridors where the embargo is being violated.

In the longer term, as conditions allow, we hope to make progress in other areas of the proposed Conclusions:

political – to support a future national conference, the organisation of elections, and possible work on the constitution;
economic – actions focused on capacity building in national institutions, such as the National Oil Company, Central Bank and Libyan Investment Authority;
security sector reform (through our Common Security and Defence Policy instruments, including the existing civilian mission EUBAM);
and human rights – the EU wishes to bring its expertise.
The EU is ready to host a Senior Officials Meeting of the International Follow-up Committee tasked with implementing the Conference Conclusions. And we are ready to play an active role in the technical working groups created by this process.

Now it is time for all members of the international community to work together to consolidate the ceasefire and respect the UN arms embargo and also preserve the unity of Libya’s financial institutions on which the unity of the country itself depends.

In the past, we have shown unity on a number of these objectives. For example, thwarting illegal attempts to purchase oil outside the official circuit. In other areas, we should have done better, in particular, on the arms embargo, as highlighted by the UN in its reports.

Moving forward, we should also avoid unilateral actions, such as the signing of agreements, which exacerbate the conflict. I am aiming at the actions that are incompatible with international law and which create a pretext for external interference in the Libyan conflict. The European Union has taken an unambiguous position on this, with the conclusions of the European Council on 12 December 2019.

Today we are committed to the Berlin process and the UN mediation efforts that put the needs of the Libyan people first. Today is an important step, but much work remains to be done. We are ready to contribute.

EU diplomats prepare for Global Compact for Migration

“I believe there are two mistakes we must not make when discussing the global compacts” the EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini said, while addressing the plenary session of the European Parliament on the preparation of the Marrakech Intergovernmental Conference of 10-11 December on the UN Global Compact for Migration.

The first is to pretend there is a clash between our national interests and the idea of a global compact. The opposite is true. If our national interest is to govern migration – and I believe it is for all of us – to make it orderly, humane and sustainable, then the global compact is a powerful tool to serve our national interest” Mogherini continued.

“The second mistake would be to tackle migration as a fight between the North and the South of the world, the developed and the developing countries. Again, the opposite is true

The diplomat indicated that the most of the countries – for instance in Africa – are at the same time countries of “origin, of transit and of destination”. “We all share an interest to manage migration; we all have an interest in investing in sustainable development in the regions that need it the most; and we all have an interest in creating regular pathways for human mobility”,- Mogherini concluded, insisting there is no conflict between North-South, but common need to harness the problem in a unified manner.

However there is no unity among the EU members on the issue. The latest ‘no’ to the UN project came from the Slovak Parliament, and caused resignation of the Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak has decided to quit in protest to this decision to reject a UN pact on the treatment of migrants, his office said.

Lajcak was President of the United Nations General Assembly when the migration pact was adopted and had earlier threatened to quit if his country did not support it.

NB! Correction to the map: Croatia will not sign UN Global Compact for Migration, because the majority of lawmakers in the Parliament said that they would not support the Compact because it was “unclear and ambiguous“.

Nowadays there are over 258 million migrants around the world living outside their country of birth. This figure is expected to grow for a number of reasons including  population growth, increasing connectivity, trade, rising inequality, demographic imbalances and climate change. Critics claim that the non-binding document declares economic migration as a human right which means giving up a state’s sovereignty while supporters of the Compact claim that it will improve international management of migrant waves and strengthen the protection of human rights.

Brussels conference on Sahel

On 23 February 2018, the European Commission is hosting the International High Level Conference on the Sahel in Brussels, with the African Union, the United Nations and the G5 Sahel group of countries, to strengthen international support for the G5 Sahel regions.

Federica Mogherini introduction in French:

 

In 2014, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger set up the “G5 Sahel” group of countries to foster close cooperation in the region and tackle the major challenges that these countries face. Since then, the EU has stepped up cooperation with this African-led initiative to build a strong partnership on many fronts: from political dialogue, to development and humanitarian support, to strengthening security and tackling irregular migration.

The Sahel region faces a number of pressing challenges such as extreme poverty, frequent food and nutrition crises, conflict, irregular migration and related crimes such as human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Violent extremism also poses a serious security challenge to the region and has potential spill-over effects outside the region, including Europe.