Foreign Affairs Council (Development), 19 November 2021

The Foreign Affairs Council (Development) was chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr. Josep Borrell. The High Representative updated the Council about the latest developments in Ethiopia and Sudan, and the ongoing work to operationalise the humanitarian approach in support to the Afghan people.

The main agenda item was the strategic discussions on water in EU external action, with a focus on Central Asia and the major water related challenges in the region. Water demand, water scarcity and devastating extreme events are increasing due to climate change and competing demands for water constitute a potential driver of conflict.

In the margins of the meeting, Development Ministers had an informal exchange of views with Samantha Power, Administrator of the USAID, as international cooperation is at the forefront of the renewed EU-US engagement. The discussion focused on joint efforts to i) tackle the COVID-19 pandemic ii) best advance a joined up approach on ambitious climate action and energy transition, as well as iii) address democratic backsliding and human rights erosion.

Commissioner for International Partnerships Ms. Jutta Urpilainen updated the Council about Team Europe’s delivery on vaccine sharing. The intention is to take stock of EU vaccine sharing, in particular through the COVAX facility and with a focus on deliveries to Africa, given the low vaccination rates on the continent.
Greece was represented by the Secretary General for International Economic Affairs, Mr. Ioannis Smyrlis and the Director General of Hellenic Aid, Mr. Alexandros Diakopoulos.