PRESS RELEASE 111
18 EU and Latin American countries agree to stimulate cooperation to tackle COVID-19 and its consequences
10/07/2020
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, has taken part today – 10 July – in a ministerial conference with her counterparts from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden, and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, with the aim of stimulating cooperation between the two regions to tackle the pandemic and its consequences. This is the first high-level meeting between ministers from the two regions since the meeting of EU Ministers with the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC), held in Brussels in July 2018. 

The conference was an initiative by France, Spain and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. This meeting concluded with the adoption of a statement in which the participating countries called for cooperation through different initiatives in the fight against COVID-19, as part of their commitment to multilateralism and a coordinated international health response, as well as to strengthen political dialogue between the two regions.

Among other initiatives, the participant countries undertake to support the production and fair and universal access to tests, treatments and vaccines; to strengthen health systems, particularly in the most vulnerable countries and for the least protected segments of society; and the promotion of exchanges between scientists and cooperation on medical, biological and pharmaceutical research. Furthermore, EU and Latin American countries undertake to redirect their cooperation instruments to facilitate a sustainable way out of the crisis, as well as to study measures to restore the exchange of people between the two regions as soon as possible.

“Since the outbreak of this crisis, Spain has implemented a series of mechanisms to try and help Latin American countries, one of the regions that is suffering the most from the impact of the pandemic”, according to Minister González Laya. “We opened a dialogue process with several Latin American countries in the month of April, the so-called COVID-19 Dialogue, to share experiences and lessons learned, and to set up networks of experts”, added the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Given the gravity of the crisis caused by Venezuelan migration in the countries in the region, Spain also promoted the holding of a conference of donors, which took a notable leap in the response from the international community to the Venezuelan crisis. In addition, on 24 June, Spain organised a virtual meeting with the President of the Government and with 10 regional presidents to contribute to raising awareness among international financial institutions of the financing needs of Latin American countries within the context of the pandemic.

Following today’s meeting, Spain welcomes the resumption of high-level political dialogue between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean, and trusts that this paves the way for a boost in cooperation and solidarity between the two regions.

-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-​

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