The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005

The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005

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Press Release
Jean Asselborn: “The Presidency believes that it is strong alliances, such as that between the EU and the Rio Group, which make stability and global peace possible”

Date of release : 27-05-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : XIIth Ministerial Meeting EU-Rio Group

At the press conference following the Ministerial meeting between the EU and the Rio Group on May 27 2005 in Luxembourg, the current President of the Council of the European Union, Jean Asselborn stated:

“After yesterday’s fruitful ministerial meetings, I was delighted to co-chair the ministerial meeting between the European Union and the Rio Group with my colleague, the Argentine Minister for Foreign Affairs, Rafael Bielsa, ad temporum Presidency secretary of the Rio Group. We had a very fruitful exchange of views on the current and future state of relations between the European Union and the Rio Group.

We also discussed at length the progress made in the area of regional integration and cooperation between the two regions.

Europe is Latin America’s leading trade partner, one of its main investors and the most important donor of development assistance.

The Presidency recalled that the Rio Group is a privileged partner for the European Union, because it symbolises the most representative forum for informal consultation on the American continent and all its Member states are well established in other regional consultation and transcontinental groupings.

The Presidency believes that it is strong alliances, such as that between the EU and the Rio Group, just as with the Mercosur countries, the Andine community, Central America, Mexico and Chile, which make stability and global peace possible.

In this respect, the Presidency underlined the growing and essential involvement of Latin American countries in United Nations peacekeeping missions, through the dispatch of peacekeeping forces to Afghanistan, the Balkans, Cyprus and, more recently, to Haiti.

I would like to remind you that the large majority of peacekeeping forces currently making up the UN’s multinational stabilisation force in Haiti – MINUSTAH – are from Rio Group Member states.

The European Union welcomes Latin America’s commitment to the peace process in Haiti and has reaffirmed, in this forum, its commitment and that of its Member states to ensuring that the Haitian people see a return to peace.

The European Union remains preoccupied by the climate of violence that persists in some areas of the country and hopes that the process of disarming organised groups will intensify, to consolidate Haiti’s return to security, which is a necessary condition to the smooth running of elections at the end of the year.

We also discussed the importance of creating jobs to fight poverty in order to reinforce democratic governance.

Because social cohesion is fundamental for our societies. Poverty, exclusion and inequality are an attack on human dignity, weakening democracy and threatening peace and stability.

In this context of global peace and stability, we exchanged views on preparations for the United Nations Summit next September in New York.

The Presidency recalled that the EU had warmly welcomed the report of Secretary General Kofi Annan (“In Larger Freedom�?)

The European Union believes that this report makes a vital contribution to the Summit in September 2005 and the Presidency underlined the fact that the EU has firmly resolved to playing a major role within the United Nations and in preparing this Summit.

The EU is determined that this process will result in the formulation of joint responses to the major development, security and human rights issues and therefore welcomes the substantial exchanges we have had with our colleagues in the Rio Group on this subject.

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Last update of this page on : 27-05-2005