Federica Mogherini i, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission, today chaired a meeting of EU Development Ministers - joined by Environment Ministers - which looked at how to put in place the UN Sustainable Development Goals agreed recently in New York, as well as examining ways to further ease the current refugee crisis.
“The European Union has played a very important part in achieving these results of having the Sustainable Development Goals approved in New York in the UN system. Now it's the responsibility that we have as Europeans to start the implementation of them quickly and smoothly,” the High Representative said after the Foreign Affairs Council (Development).
“We had with the Development ministers a very substantial discussion on migration and the ways in which development instruments and policies can help manage the phenomenon together with our partners in Africa and the preparation for the Valletta summit,” she added, referring to the summit on the refugee crisis to be held in Malta on 11/12 November between European and African leaders.
Ministers also continued their reflection on the future of the EU’s relationship with the African-Caribbean-Pacific group of countries when the current Cotonou agreement expires. The aim, Federica Mogherini said, is to “strengthen the political relationship, the political partnership with our partners in Africa, in the Caribbean, in the Pacific, going beyond an ‘aid only’ approach and having a more political partnership with them.”
The Council also adopted the gender action plan, which will strengthen European engagement in the empowerment of women and girls. The External Action Service is on the frontline: Mogherini has recently appointed Mara Marinaki as the EEAS Principal Advisor on Gender and on the implementation of the United Nation Security Council Resolution 1325.
Ministers also launched consultations with the Burundian authorities envisaged under Article 96 of the Cotonou agreement, aimed at addressing the concerns of the European Union when it comes to human rights, the rule of law, and the respect of democratic values in Burundi.