The Informal Meeting of Development Ministers of the European Union will take place in Montpellier, at the Musée Fabre, on 7 March 2022.
This meeting will offer the opportunity to take stock of the actions implemented by the European Union and by its Member States, as Team Europe, to provide backing to Ukraine, both as part of emergency measures, and as part of the scheduling of our new EU Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument. This meeting will also enable an update on the action of the two main development banks that operate in Ukraine: the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Lastly, still on Ukraine, this meeting will allow us to take stock of the humanitarian aid sent to the Ukrainian border following the activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, as well as of the aid for the reception of numerous refugees in the neighbouring countries.
This meeting will also provide ministers with some time for in-depth exchange on European development policy, in an international context marked by geopolitical tensions and power games between different development models, the persistence of major global inequalities and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hampered the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The informal nature of this meeting will allow more open exchanges on the new working method of the EU and on its position as the world’s leading donor of official development aid.
Beyond this, the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union intends to highlight themes that are essential to this core policy in the affirmation of the European Union and its values in the global arena:
Discussions will focus on Europe’s offer of partnerships for sustainable development, in particular in the wake of the EU-AU Summit and the Forum for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, for the purpose of further developing strategic orientations, instruments and the implementation of the EU’s international cooperation and development policy. It will also be an opportune moment to examine the role and the status of the EU in international organizations.
Biodiversity preservation in development policies and support for research on sustainable food systems
Key issue in order to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, it would be appropriate during the working lunch to discuss in particular the fight against climate change, the prevention of pandemics, access to water and the development of sustainable food systems, during the working lunch.
The former president of Niger, Mr Mahamadou Issoufou, will be invited to speak as “resource mobilization champion for the Great Green Wall”. This international initiative for the environment and land management launched in 2007 by the African Union in 11 countries of the Sahel region, which France helped to revive in early 2021, provides an example of a large-scale project that contributes to biodiversity protection, to fighting land degradation and to the development of sustainable farming policies. The agro-ecological approach is in fact vital to preserve biodiversity while responding in a sustainable manner to the growing food needs of populations.
World-renowned representatives from the Montpellier scientific ecosystem, will be invited to participate in this exchange to share their experience: French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and the CGIAR global partnership of international organizations focused on food security research.
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