MEPs welcomed the results of the Mali donors conference but insisted on respect for the rule of law and human rights during their discussion on Thursday with the acting president, Dioncounda Traoré. Members of the security and defence, foreign affairs and development committees also stressed the need to establish genuine democracy and decentralisation.
The Cuban "Ladies in White" (Damas de Blanco) protest movement was at last able to receive its European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in Brussels on Tuesday, when, over seven years later, Havana finally lifted a travel ban. The prize was presented at a special ceremony during a joint meeting of the foreign affairs, development and human rights committees, attended by European Parliament President, Martin Schulz.
Eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development should be the priorities of the post-2015 development agenda, said Development Committee MEPs on Tuesday. Universal health coverage and quality education should be key goals, and gender equality and decent work opportunities should become new ones, they said in a draft resolution, voted Tuesday, on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).