Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Brussels, 4 May 2023

The Foreign Affairs Council, in its development configuration, took place in Brussels on 4 May 2023.

Development ministers held an exchange with Rebeca Grynspan Mayufis, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to discuss the global consequences of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

The discussion focused on how the EU and the UN can take actions to respond to the interconnected food, energy and financing crises and give a renewed boost to the 2030 Agenda.

The Secretary-General informed about the work of the UN Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance and the implementation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

We need to sustain the global response to the food crisis, and the Black Sea Grain Initiative is key in this regard. Thanks to the Black Sea Grain Initiative, we have been able to export almost 30 million tons of grain and other products. The work of the United Nations has been crucial, and I want to thank them for that.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Ministers also discussed the reform of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs). Commissioner Gentiloni joined the discussion, which included proposed actions and common principles for the reform of MDBs to prepare a coherent position that the EU and its Member States can promote in international fora.

Under current affairs, the High Representative referred to EU support to Ukraine with a focus on financial and reconstruction needs, also in view of the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London on 21-22 June.

The High Representative also raised Sudan in light of recent developments and reiterated that the

EU and its member states strongly condemned the ongoing fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, which threatens the safety and security of the people of Sudan as well as the unity and stability of the country.

Ministers also touched upon Afghanistan in light of the recent developments, including the ban for Afghan women to work for UN agencies. 

Under any other business, Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen updated ministers on Global Gateway investments in view of the EU-CELAC Summit on 17-18 July.

The High Representative also raised the signing of the Post-Cotonou agreement and encouraged Member States to swiftly find an agreement.

Ministers also touched upon the International donor conference on the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa, which will be co-organised by Italy, the UK, the US and Qatar in New York on 24 May. The objective of the event is to raise awareness on the magnitude of the crisis and gather financial aid? to address the most urgent needs as well as the root causes of the crisis.

Before the start of the Council meeting, ministers held an informal exchange of views over breakfast with Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB). Ministers focused on the achievements and perspectives of EIB Global operations outside the EU and their contribution to development. The discussion also touched on the EIB cooperation with other Team Europe players and on the role of the Board Advisory Group of EIB Global, which advises the EIB Board of Directors on the operations outside the EU.

Council conclusions

The Council also approved conclusions on corruption as an obstacle to development.

Source – EU Council

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