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EU development ministers on EU-Africa relations, Ukraine and Afghanistan

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
State Secretary Samuel Žbogar attended the Foreign Affairs Council in its development configuration. The meeting discussed the follow-up to the sixth EU-African Union Summit and Team Europe’s crisis response, with a focus on Ukraine and Afghanistan.
State Secretary Žbogar with the participants

State Secretary Žbogar with the participants | Author Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve

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Development ministers addressed the implementation of the commitments made at the EU–African Union Summit in February and the concrete results of the Africa-Europe Investment Package presented at the Summit. The Investment Package is aimed at delivering the five pillars of the Global Gateway Strategy – digitalisation, environment and energy, sustainable transport, health, and education and research. State Secretary Žbogar stressed that global challenges are a priority area for EU-Africa cooperation. In this context, he highlighted in particular climate change and water, gender equality, food security and global health, and multilateralism. As part of the “Grain from Ukraine” initiative, Slovenia will commit EUR 1 million for emergency humanitarian food aid through the World Food Programme. The main beneficiaries will be African countries.

In the framework of a common approach at the EU level (Team Europe), the ministers discussed the situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan. The debate on Ukraine focused on how to assist the country ahead of the upcoming winter, when the humanitarian needs are expected to rise, and how to ensure support for its reconstruction and reform process.

The ministers also reviewed the situation in Afghanistan and the effectiveness of the basic needs and livelihood approach to help the Afghan people meet their basic needs. High Representative Borrell also raised the issue of operationalising the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus in the spirit of the Team Europe approach in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.

State Secretary Žbogar expressed concern about the difficult humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, which is set to worsen as winter approaches. Slovenia is particularly concerned about the restrictions on human rights, especially for women and girls. The current approach to providing assistance to the people of Afghanistan to cover their basic needs must continue.

In response to the situation in Afghanistan, Slovenia has made contributions to international organisations. Since 2016, it has supported the ITF Enhancing Human Security project aimed at providing free access to basic health services through a polyclinic in Kabul, especially for women and girls.

The Council approved conclusions on the Youth Action Plan and on Disaster Risk Reduction.