Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, took part yesterday in the informal meeting of EU development ministers via video conference, attended by Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva, Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni, representatives of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Chairman of the Paris Club Emmanuel Moulin.
The discussions focused on the issues relating to the debt sustainability of the poorest countries in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and the role that Team Europe (EU, member states and European financial institutions) could play in this respect. France reaffirmed that the EU’s efforts should fall within the framework of the important G20 and Paris Club initiatives and the debt treatment that will be offered by official bilateral creditors, in accordance with the Common Framework on Debt Treatment for the most vulnerable countries. The minister of state reaffirmed President Macron’s initiative to host, during the first half of next year, an international conference aimed at redefining the funding rules for African economies in order to ensure sustainable development.
Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen provided an update on the negotiations on the new agreement with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and on the entry into force on January 1, 2021, of the future single instrument for EU external action (Neighborhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI)).
The ministers discussed the issue of gender equality in the context of the imminent publication of the third EU Gender Action Plan (GAP III) for the period 2021-2025. France welcomed the EU’s mobilization in this area and stressed the need to take better account of the issues related to sexual and reproductive rights and health in its programs. France will host the Generation Equality Forum in Paris in June 2021, in partnership with Mexico and the UN.