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Verbatim report of proceedings
Tuesday, 13 March 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

16. Statements by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Video of the speeches

  Preşedinte. – Înainte de deschiderea următoarei dezbateri privitoare la Siria, așa cum s-a convenit, doresc să dau cuvântul doamnei vicepreședintă a Comisiei și Înaltei Reprezentante a Uniunii pentru Afaceri Externe și Politica de Securitate, doamna Mogherini, care va aborda pe scurt 2 chestiuni:

- progresul privind pactele globale ale ONU referitoare la refugiați și pentru asigurarea unei migrații legale, desfășurate în condiții de siguranță și de ordine.

- perspectivele de pace pentru peninsula Coreeană în lumina ultimelor evoluții.


  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, on the UN Global Compact on Migration and Refugees, let me start with good news, a good story for once, a little big European achievement over the last few months.

You might remember last December I came to Strasbourg and here in this hemicycle we talked about the detention centres in Libya. I took, in front of you and most of all in front of all those people suffering inside these detention centres in Libya, a commitment to bring back to their homes 15 000 migrants from within the detention centres to their countries of origin in a safe manner, with assisted voluntary returns made with our assistance through the International Organization for Migration (IOM). At that moment we had just reached an unprecedented agreement between our European Union, the African Union and the United Nations, in particular the United Nation’s agencies for migrants and refugees, at our EU-Africa Union Summit in Abidjan.

Thanks to these agreements, in the first two months of this year, January and February, we managed to rescue and free more than 16 000 people from the camps in Libya. In two months we managed to achieve more than in the previous year and already in 2017 the results were 10 times better than the previous one, than 2016. Now, in the detention camps there are still some 4 000 to 5 000 people. That is far too much and we are going to continue our work with the United Nations and with the African Union to empty the camps. We’ve managed to bring 16 000 people out of there in two months. I believe we can make it and empty them completely within the coming maximum couple of months.

This has been possible for one reason. We joined forces, first of all within Europe, second with our African partners and friends and, on a global scale, within the UN system. I’m glad to start with this positive note, acknowledging that again still the work to be done is a lot but because sometimes we forget to focus on the achievements we managed to build. I think that humans are important to lead us towards the solutions and the way.

This is only one piece of the puzzle we are trying to put together. The work on safe and dignified returns goes together with saving lives and arresting human traffickers both at sea and on land, it goes together with our Trust Funds to tackle the root causes of migration and with our new External Investment Fund to create jobs and growth in the most fragile regions of origin. The challenge of human mobility in our century is huge. We have experienced it directly, but continents like Africa experience it every day even more. But experience tells us that it is manageable. No country can manage this alone, but together we can set up a humane, dignified and secure mechanism for governing human mobility.

This is the spirit of the New York Declaration that we approved two years ago – solidarity, shared responsibility, multilateralism and engagement. Around these four pillars we have built a common ground. This should be also the spirit of the two Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants. It is not by standing aside or pretending we can put a wall between us and the rest of the world that we will shape common solutions. We remain convinced that all states can benefit from closer international cooperation, be they countries of origin, transit or destination – and some countries are all three at the same time. Some countries are experiencing the situation of being at the same time countries of origin, transit and destination.

Work on both Global Compacts has now concluded on the consultative phase, and negotiations and formal consultations on the actual text started last month. I believe this is a unique opportunity to bring forward the European vision on migration and bring there, at the global level, the experiences, the lessons, we have learned and the partnerships we have built. It is a vision grounded on human rights, responsibility and mutual solidarity; a vision where traffickers and smugglers and the connected criminal organisations find no place, where we reduce irregular migration and instead we have the courage to invest in more regular and safe channels for migrants. To achieve this we will need strong UN coordination under the leadership of the IOM and the UNHCR, under the respective Compacts.

The first and second negotiating sessions in New York on the Global Compact on Migration are now behind us, showing a strong concordance of voices across the globe. There is still a lot of work to do but there is a good basis to develop a common understanding on how to humanely and efficiently manage migration together now and in the long term.

Also, on the Global Compact for Refugees, formal consultation has started in Geneva and it is important to ensure a balanced and inclusive outcome for refugees and also for the host communities. For the past 18 months the European Union has established strong leadership in the process, thanks also to the partnerships we have developed in these years. Now with the withdrawal of the United States from the Compacts back in December, the Compacts need more than ever a strong and united Europe.

Let me say that I regret that one of our Member States has recently presented a position that is not in line with the position of the 27 other Member States. Here our common work and also your contribution as a Parliament will be essential because together we can push towards inclusive and balanced Compacts to improve the lives of millions of people, to address the concerns of European citizens and to turn migration from a common challenge into a shared opportunity for human development.

I will now move from the UN to the Korean peninsula. For months and years now we have been working as a European Union to avoid the nightmare scenario of a nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula and we have, let’s say, gained some experience in work on nuclear negotiations. Since the Winter Olympics, the news coming from the Far East has given us some hope. The situation on the Korean peninsula could turn from a potential catastrophe into a demonstration of the power of multilateral diplomacy and, let me add, wise leadership. I especially want to thank and recognise the efforts that the President of the Republic of Korea, President Moon, has exercised over this month.

Last week, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) communicated, through the voice of the South Korean special envoy, its willingness to enter into negotiations on denuclearisation. Reportedly, North Korea would refrain from testing nuclear weapons or missiles during these negotiations. If these announcements were to be confirmed they could create the necessary conditions towards a negotiated solution.

The summit meeting between President Moon and Kim Jong Un in April could start to build the necessary trust, de—escalate tensions and improve inter-Korean relations. President Trump’s potential readiness to accept the invitation to a summit by the month of May represents another possible element of a breakthrough towards a diplomatic solution.

The unity of the international community will be an essential factor to determine whether we collectively succeed or fail. We Europeans, the European Union and the Member States, are ready to do our part, as we always did. Our policy of critical engagement with the DPRK is more valid than ever. We stand for maximum pressure and dialogue. Both are necessary to avert the danger of war. We have always stressed the need to come to full denuclearisation – irreversible, verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula – through peaceful diplomatic means.

The European Union sanctions regime on the DPRK is currently the most restrictive towards any country in the world. We implemented all the UN Security Council resolutions on the DPRK and we adopted additional autonomous measures. We also worked with third countries to help enforce the full implementation of all resolutions and we will continue this approach and shortly will launch a new outreach to third countries. We will maintain, in this way, the direct and indirect pressure on DPRK.

But we have always believed that sanctions are a tool and not a goal in themselves. Our objective is, has always been and remains, to help open the political path for a peaceful, negotiated solution of North Korean denuclearisation. That is why we encourage and support this new high-level diplomatic initiative.

I would like again to praise the leadership and courage shown by the Republic of Korea, President Moon and the entire government. I am happy and proud to say that next Monday in Brussels, I will welcome the Korean Foreign Minister to our Foreign Affairs Council to discuss together the way forward and how the European Union can continue to support their work to accompany these efforts, as we have constantly done during this month, in an even more effective manner.

Our goal, as I said, is the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. I believe this is a goal that we can achieve with wisdom, unity and the determination that I think we have shown together with our partners internationally in this month.



  Preşedinte. – Acest punct a fost închis.

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