The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005

The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005

URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/actualites/communiques/2005/05/10pe-schmit/

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Press Release
Nicolas Schmit at the plenary session of the European Parliament

Date of release : 10-05-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : European Parliament plenary session


At the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday 10 May 2005, the Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Nicolas Schmit, replied to an oral question asked in the name of the European Parliament Committee for the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety on the subject of the Council’s strategy on climate change. The Minister then intervened within the framework of a statement by the Council on light weapons and small calibre firearms (SALW). Within the framework of the plenary meeting, Nicolas Schmit had talks with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, HE Dr Abdullah Abdullah.

In his reply to the oral question on climate change, Nicolas Schmit pointed out that "the European Council of 22 and 23 March 2005 adopted key elements of vital importance to the conception of the future climate system. In order to achieve the objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change, the increase in the average annual global surface temperature must not exceed 2°C as compared with levels in the pre-industrial period (…) The Council insisted on the need to give a new boost to international negotiations by exploring the options for a post-2012 system and by ensuring the broadest cooperation possible in all countries."

As regards the public debate in progress on climate change, Nicolas Schmit invited the European Parliament to help the Council to raise the awareness of European public opinion and of the national Parliaments of the EU and other countries.

In the course of his speech on small arms and light weapons (SALW), Minister Schmit declared: "The European Union is rallying to the call made by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Organisation (UNO) for the development of long-term strategies to put an end to the scourge of the illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons (…)  SALW contribute to an increase in terrorism and organised crime and are a major factor in triggering and propagating conflicts and the collapse of state structures. Since 1990, these conflicts have cost the lives of 4 million people and forced more than 18 million to leave their homes or their countries."

Nicolas Schmit pointed out "the European Union is working towards the adoption of a legally binding instrument intended to complete the United Nations Protocol on firearms. It also insists that this instrument contains appropriate provisions on munitions. Indeed, a constant supply of weapons alone makes it possible for illegal SALW to continue to create mayhem. However, if we succeed in preventing arms trafficking, we will be able to silence these weapons once and for all."

Within the context of the plenary session meeting, the Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration conferred with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, HE Dr Abdullah Abdullah, present in Strasbourg on the occasion of the solemn speech of the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, HE Mr Hamid Karzai, before the European Parliament. During this interview, the Minister repeated, in the name of the Presidency, that the European Union supported the process of democratisation in progress in Afghanistan, in particular with a view to the coming parliamentary elections that will take place there in September 2005.


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Last update of this page on : 11-05-2005