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Major steps forward taken against poverty and climate change, says PM Janez Janša

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia and President of the European Council, Mr Janez Janša, assessed yesterday's EU-LAC Summit in Lima as very successful thanks to the major steps forward taken at the Summit. These steps are also reflected in the ‘Lima Declaration’, which to a large extent has brought standpoints, especially those of Latin American and Caribbean countries, closer into line.

“The Summit was a time of very intensive dialogue,” said the Slovenian Prime Minister. He qualified the debate on the joint fight against climate change and poverty as important on account of preparations for the European Union’s presentation of a single stance in the debate on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals to be held at the United Nations in September. In his view, the Summit has also been significant for the realisation of the 27 Member States’ ambitions to reach, at the conference to be held in Copenhagen in December 2009, a comprehensive agreement on limiting global warming post 2012.

In connection with climate change, the Summit participants also discussed biofuels. Mr Janša said that the fears of certain Latin American and Caribbean countries that agricultural production would become excessively oriented towards the production of biofuels at the expense of agricultural foodstuffs, thus potentially driving food prices up, had been allayed. “The chief reason for increased food prices is increased consumption, and the only proper response to increased consumption is to step up production,” said the Slovenian Prime Minister, adding that Latin America had great potential for increasing food production in a sustainable manner.

At the Summit, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have expressed great interest in the transfer of good practices from European countries which would facilitate the transition to low-carbon production. “The more developed Latin American countries in particular are the ones who were in favour of the transfer of knowledge and technologies and the removal of barriers in this area. In that respect, a certain balance has been obtained – with Europe advocating the removal of barriers to trade in general and Latin America advocating the removal of barriers to the transfer of knowledge and technology,” concluded the Prime Minister, adding that the Lima Declaration has to a great extent reconciled these wishes.


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Date: 23.05.2008