Press Advisories

13. 5. 2009 15:44

Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the EU and the Rio Group in Prague

On 11 – 14 May 2009 the Czech EU Presidency organises the 14th joint meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the EU and the Rio Group in Prague.

The meeting ranks among the largest events of the Czech Presidency held in the Czech Republic. The plenary meeting will focus on two main topics: 1) Renewable sources of energy: a sustainable approach to energy and climate change; and 2) Recovery of financial stability and growth of the world economy. These issues are challenges that must be faced by both Europe and the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

During the lunch, the ministers will discuss the fight against the H1N1 virus and the outlooks for efficient multilateralism as a response to the challenges we all face. The discussion on the issue of multilateralism will address, in particular, cooperation with the new US Administration.

The Rio Group was founded in December 1986 in Rio de Janeiro on the basis of the original "Group of 8". Today, it is an association of 23 member states representing more than 500 million inhabitants.

The Rio Group does not have a permanent secretariat; instead, it operates on the basis of annual summits of heads of state. The EU-Rio Group ministerial meetings are the second most important forum for political dialogue between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean. The first EU-Rio Group ministerial meeting was hosted by Rome in 1990. This meeting saw the adoption of a mechanism for joint dialogue in the form of the "Rome Declaration". Since then, Foreign Ministers, or their deputies, have been meeting on a biannual basis in the period between the EU-Latin America and the Caribbean summits. The Presidency of the Rio Group lasts for twelve months, with Mexiko being the current presiding state.

Talks accompanying the EU – Rio Group meeting on 14 May 2009

6th EU-Mexico Joint Council

Mexico will be represented by Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa Cantellano; the EU Troika delegation will be led by Jan Kohout, President of GAERC and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

Within the framework of political dialogue, the agenda will include the issue of disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, international migration, cooperation between the EU and Mexico in promoting human rights at multilateral forums, the environment and the fight against drugs and organised crime.

The partners will also evaluate mutual cooperation, trade and investments.

Mexico is the leading Latin American economy, member of NAFTA and the OECD and the most important Latin American contributor into the UN budget. As the author of a number of significant resolutions and conventions adopted by the UN, Mexico is also an important partner of the EU within this platform.

4th EU-Chile Association Council

The EU delegation will be headed by Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout and the delegation of Chile by Foreign Minister Mariano Fernandez Amunátegui .

The political dialogue will address the global economic crisis, the development in negotiations on association agreements and the current situation in the EU, Latin America and Chile.

Meeting of EU Troika and Central American countries

The EU will be represented by a delegation led by Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout. The Deputy Foreign Minister of Nicaragua, Valdrack Jaentschke Whitaker, will attend the meeting on behalf of the countries of Central America.

The meeting will address two main themes: negotiations on an association agreement and security in Central American region. The group of Central American countries includes Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama.

EU Troika – Mercosur meeting

The delegation of the European Union will be headed by Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout and the Mercosur delegation will be led by Deputy Foreign Minister of Paraguay Jorge Lara Astro.

Delegates will discuss cooperation in the fight for human rights and migration between the EU and Mercosur countries. The members of Mercosur: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Urugay.

You may watch the life streaming of the Presidency press conference at 17:00.

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