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LAC countries are the EU’s allies in combating climate change, says Premier Janez Janša

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The Slovenian Prime Minister and President of the European Council, Mr Janez Janša, concluded his participation in the Fifth EU-LAC Summit in Lima by taking part, in his capacity as co-chairman, in six 'mini-summits'. He assessed the Summit as very successful thanks both to major steps forward that had been taken at the Summit and the fact that the standpoints of Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries had to a large extent been brought closer into line.

The mini-summits with the Andean Community (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia), Chile, Mexico, Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela), Central America (El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama) and Cariforum (Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago) had, said the Slovenian PM, contributed to a more tangible realisation of the principled agreements on which the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean had already reached consensus. They are a result of the fact that, in many specific cases, the European Union cannot hold negotiations with the entire region directly on account of its great physical and political diversity, this being also the reason why the region does not hold a single stance on every unresolved issue.

The main focus of the talks between the European Union and the aforementioned countries was on trade and association agreements as well as agreements and commitments linked to the two key themes of the Fifth EU-LAC Summit – the fight against poverty and climate change. "Particularly intense debates have been held on combating climate change, which is becoming an issue of concern in this part of the world too, as well as an important item on the political agenda of the LAC countries. Caribbean countries are especially concerned about the matter, making them the European Union's most sincere ally," concluded the Slovenian Prime Minister after the Summit.  He stressed that this should be regarded as an additional incentive for the European Union to strengthen even more the position of its leadership in the fight against climate change with a view to reaching an effective and sustainable post-Kyoto agreement.

"It has been a great achievement to gather all four representatives of the Andean Community round the same table and to hold a positive and constructive debate," was the optimistic assessment of the Slovenian Premier and President of the European Council. "It brings us a step closer to concluding an association agreement between the European Union and the Andean Community, a major objective for us and also the wish of our partners in the Andean Community."

At the Fifth EU-LAC Summit, the Heads of State and Government also addressed the issue of migration, which was one of the most demanding individual topics discussed during the coordination of the 'Lima Declaration'. The pattern of migration has changed in the course of history – while, in previous centuries, people migrated towards the countries of Latin America, the trend has now been reversed. At present, migration of people from this part of the world is a problem with which the European Union is faced and which it is endeavouring to resolve by adopting a unified approach, as dictated by the Schengen rules. The Slovenian Prime Minister and President of the European Council also described the coordination of a general approach to the protection of human rights of migrants as positive.


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Date: 23.05.2008