The EU Foreign Affairs Council (Development) will meet in Brussels on 25 November. Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will represent Finland at the meeting.
The Foreign Affairs Council will discuss the reform of the EU’s financial architecture for development. Growing financing needs in Africa, population growth, poverty and climate change and related social unrest and migration cause significant investment needs. During its Presidency of the Council of the EU, Finland has actively promoted the discussion between the Member States on the different options for reforming the financial architecture for development.
“From the perspective of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, reforming the financial architecture for development is a very important political issue. Funding and aid must be able to better support our common political objectives. That is the only way the EU can respond to geopolitical and global challenges,” says Minister Ville Skinnari.
With this year marking the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, Finland has strongly emphasised the importance of international humanitarian law and the EU’s special role in defending it. At the initiative of Finland, the Council will adopt conclusions on humanitarian assistance and international humanitarian law for the first time in ten years. The strong commitments in the conclusions, including the protection of those in the most vulnerable positions, such as persons with disabilities, are an important political message from the EU.
Other priorities of the Finnish Presidency in development policy have included gender equality and partnership with Africa. At Finland’s initiative, development ministers will hold a lunch meeting to discuss education in Africa from the viewpoint of gender equality.
The development ministers will also discuss the implementation of the recently adopted Council conclusions on democracy in partner countries as well as the EU’s support for the Ethiopian economy and the transition phase in Sudan. The current situation in the post-Cotonou negotiations is also on the Council’s agenda.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.