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Minister Fajon at the third EU-CELAC meeting of foreign ministers on the need to work together to tackle global challenges

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Minister Tanja Fajon attended the third meeting of foreign ministers of the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Buenos Aires. Ministers stressed the importance of regular high-level dialogue between the EU and CELAC, and discussed matters ranging from innovations, climate change, digitalisation and security to the strengthening of democracy, the protection of human rights, and sustainable development in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This meeting of EU-CELAC foreign ministers is taking place under the theme "Renewing the bi-regional association to strengthen peace and sustainable development". "Cooperation between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is based on shared values, historical links and many common views. The two regions are often partners in the multilateral environment, which is also of paramount importance for strengthening the rules-based international order. The EU's partnership with LAC is geostrategically important," said Minister Fajon at the meeting. She stressed that virtually the whole world is affected by Russia's aggression against Ukraine, while Slovenia remains a reliable partner working for peace.

The ministers stressed the importance of cooperation both bilaterally and regionally. This is also reflected in the search for solutions in international organisations, given the current challenges facing the international community. "Exchanges of experience, joint search for solutions and dialogue are particularly valuable in addressing global issues, such as the provision of health care in the fight against the pandemic, food and energy security and the impact of climate change," said Minister Fajon, underlining the potential for enhanced cooperation in the fields of knowledge, science and education.

In order to strengthen dialogue between countries at different levels, the ministers agreed on high-level activities in the coming months, including on digitisation and artificial intelligence. Slovenia is also initiating an event to be held in December 2022, on the anniversary of the launch of the Digital for Development hub with Latin America and the Caribbean. The ministers agreed that enhanced contacts and activities will lead to a repeat meeting of heads of state next year and to strengthened cooperation.

The EU already has concluded trade and association agreements with the vast majority of countries in the LAC region; these agreements play an important role in strengthening economic ties, as well as in efforts for sustainable development. Once the EU's agreement with Mercosur, comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, is concluded, and the agreements with Chile and Mexico are updated, the EU will have comprehensive agreements with almost the entire LAC region.

On the margins of the meeting, Minister Fajon also held bilateral meetings with her colleagues from Latin American and Caribbean countries, including the Foreign Ministers of Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, and other high-level representatives of the countries of the region. The Minister also presented Slovenia's candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2024–2025 term, and signed Memoranda of Cooperation between the Foreign Ministries of Panama and Paraguay on behalf of Slovenia.