The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, Marina Sereni, has participated today in the meeting of the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council chaired by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell. The topics on the agenda have been cooperation with middle-income countries and human development.
The discussion on the first item has seen the High Representative, the Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, and the European Development Ministers discuss ways to improve cooperation with Middle Income Countries (MICs), which are indispensable players for a durable and sustainable post-pandemic recovery. Ministers have recognised the need for support that takes into account the specificities of countries and prepares them to respond to emergencies.
The discussion on human development has focused on the role of young people and vaccines. Commissioner Urpilainen and the Ministers have agreed to earmark 10% of the resources of the new Global Europe cooperation instrument for education, to enable young people to become informed and aware players in development. With regard to vaccines, Ministers have agreed on the need to share doses with partner countries and to encourage the development of production capacities in those countries to ensure their independence.
Vice Minister Sereni has pointed out that over half the priority countries for Italian cooperation are MICs: “they play a key role in the fight against climate change and are essential partners for development.” Moreover, “financing sustainable development is a key issue to enable MICs to recover from the pandemic and is a priority theme of our G20 Presidency.”
The Vice Minister has also emphasised the role of young people: “strengthening education systems fosters peaceful, just and inclusive societies.” Finally she has added, “human development also depends on strengthening health systems and on fair and global access to vaccines.”