Written by 5:48 pm European Union

Belize and the European Union discuss development cooperation



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Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2022. 11:48 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Belize and the European Union held their annual political dialogue on September 20, 2022, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belize.

Belize’s delegation was headed by Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration, and the delegation of 12 ambassadors from the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, Romania, and Sweden) was headed by Ambassador Marianne Van Steen.

The political dimension of the dialogue focused on matters related to the Post Cotonou Framework, for which approval is still pending, and Belize’s request for a Schengen Visa waiver for Belizean nationals, the Ministry noted.

On the Development Cooperation Pillar, the progress of implementation of projects and programs under the 11th European Development Fund was reviewed.

The meeting noted that the identification process for the EU-Belize Multi-Annual Indicative Programme 2021–2027 is on track.

Further updates were received on the progress of programming under the EU’s regional sub-programs with the Caribbean and Central America, both of which are accessible to Belize.

Trade and Investment Pillar discussions focused on the implementation of the EU Economic Partnership Agreement and the challenges and opportunities therein.

Closely linked to trade is the broader challenge of access to affordable and sustainable financing. Belize highlighted the ongoing development of a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index that is expected to change the criteria for small island developing states to access concessional financing.

“Belize and the EU are like-minded on many critical global issues and share a commitment to work together on the rules-based order and multilateral matters,” a joint statement said.

 Other issues discussed included good governance, human rights (including the Belize Amnesty 2022), the impact of COVID-19 on Belize’s economy, the COVID-19 immunization campaign in Belize, the impact of the Russian invasion in Ukraine on energy and food supplies, the Belize-Guatemala territorial referendum and the ongoing process at the International Court of Justice, and expectations of COP 27, particularly the commitment by developed countries to provide the US$100 billion per year for climate financing to developing countries.

“Belize and the European Union will continue collaborating on critical global, regional, and national issues,” the joint release stated.

 

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