PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Minister Vella participates in the Foreign Affairs Council Development in Brussels

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr George W. Vella attended the Foreign Affairs Council, Development in Brussels, which brought to a successful conclusion a number of Priorities of the Malta Presidency, foremost amongst which was the agreement on, and the adoption of, the ‘New European Consensus for Development’. The new Development policy of the EU, which was formulated in response to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, sets out the main principles which will guide the approach of the EU and the Member States as regards cooperation with developing countries over the next 15 years, as well as a strategy for reaching the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Other topics discussed included relations with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries after the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement in 2020, humanitarian crises, and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In discussing the deteriorating humanitarian crises in parts of the African continent, Minister Vella emphasised the importance of the interlinkages between humanitarian and development actions, whilst also voicing his concern at the never-ending supply of arms and ammunition to feuding factions that fuels conflict and hence make humanitarian crises worse. The Council adopted the Council Conclusions on the Humanitarian-Development nexus, which was also amongst the main priorities for the development and the humanitarian policy segments of the Maltese Presidency.

Ministers were briefed by the High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the main issues under discussion with the ACP partners, in relation to the expiry of the Cotonou Agreement. In recalling the Ministerial meeting between the EU and the ACP countries, held earlier in May which he co-chaired, Minister Vella positively noted the constructive reflections of all the member states and the institutions about the most essential elements of the future relations between the EU and the ACP countries.

During the working lunch, Ministers were joined by Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina J. Mohammed and held an informal exchange on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

On 18 May, Minister Vella participated in a joint working dinner with Ministers responsible for Home Affairs, during which Ministers discussed the migration policies embedded against a framework of overall external relations. Ministers also discussed actions targeting the networks of organised crime dealing with human smuggling.

Source: Government of Malta