Ministers underscored the need to ensure a strong and sustainable recovery and to build more innovative, inclusive and resilient economies and societies, including by making better use of business and investment opportunities and by strengthening the participation of women in all areas.
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the countries of the European Union (EU) and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) met in Berlin in an informal Ministerial Meeting. This meeting was organised by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Heiko Maas, for the rotating Presidency of the EU Council, and chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission (AR / VP), Josep Borrell Fontelles in Berlin. Due to restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the other 48 participating Foreign Ministers joined the meeting online in virtual format.
Ministers underscored the need to ensure a strong and sustainable recovery and to build more innovative, inclusive and resilient economies and societies, including by making better use of business and investment opportunities and strengthening the participation of women in all areas. In this context, it is where the ministers recognised the contribution of the EUROsociAL+ Programme for social cohesion. The crisis is an opportunity to “rebuild better” in accordance with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The ministers agreed that by joining forces, including in strong green and digital partnerships, the two regions can ensure a better common future for their citizens.
In addition, they reaffirmed their determination to intensify joint efforts to overcome the multidimensional challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, which risks exacerbating existing structural gaps and inequalities, as well as social, economic and financial exclusion. Expressing deep concern about the devastating impact of the pandemic, the ministers emphasised that Covid-19 vaccines must be viewed as a global public asset that can only be provided through a multilateral approach, because no one is safe until everyone is safe. They highlighted the need for equitable global access to Covid-19 vaccines and the urgency to combat the root causes of inequality through a comprehensive, multidimensional and forward-thinking response.
The ministers affirmed the intention to intensify the high-level bi-regional political dialogue and agreed to work towards a bi-regional Summit. They sent a signal of solidarity and reflected the great importance that the countries of both regions attach to their long-standing partnership, based on common interests and shared values such as respect for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, democracy, development sustainability, human rights and the rule of law.
Finally, they recognised the work carried out by the EU-LAC Foundation as an intergovernmental organisation, as well as the role of civil society actors to promote bi-regional association. They also recognised the role of parliamentary diplomacy, in particular the work of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, and welcomed its statement of 5 November 2020.
Ultimately, this conference has reaffirmed that there is much to be gained from international cooperation in an interconnected and interdependent world and reaffirmed its commitment to work together to achieve more democratic, prosperous, cohesive and inclusive societies.