Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney T.D. will attend a meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers in Brussels on Monday (25 January). Ministers are expected to discuss a range of issues, including priorities for EU-US engagement following the inauguration of President Joe Biden, climate and energy diplomacy, equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines and the detention of Alexei Navalny on his return to Moscow.
Ministers will also discuss the situation in the Horn of Africa, in particular the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia, as well as taking stock of developments in Turkey, Venezuela and Hong Kong. The Foreign Minister of Japan, Toshimitsu Motegi, will join the meeting by video for an exchange of views on the Indo-Pacific and regional security in Asia.
Speaking before the meeting, Minister Coveney said:
“The inauguration of President Biden offers promising new opportunities for deepening EU-US relations. We look forward to working with our EU partners and with the US on the UN Security Council in order to strengthen the UN’s ability to address global challenges. We have already seen a number of very welcome moves by the US in relation to rejoining the Paris climate agreement and resuming cooperation with the World Health Organisation.
“Ensuring equitable access to quality, safe and effective vaccines will be an important pillar for recovery globally and the EU must play its part. I will be calling for a coordinated ‘Team Europe’ approach, closely collaborating with the Covax Facility, which is the central, global mechanism for equitable distribution of vaccines.
“This is a hugely significant year for climate action, as we prepare for COP26 in November. The EU must use its voice and instruments to support increased ambition and action, ensuring that we bring others along with us. As co-chair of the Informal Expert Group on Climate and Security at the UN Security Council, Ireland looks forward to working with EU colleagues to bring this agenda forward throughout this year and beyond.
“Ireland has joined widespread condemnation of the detention of Alexei Navalny on his return to Moscow and supported the calls for his immediate release. We continue to call on Russia to carry out a transparent investigation into the poisoning of Mr. Navalny, in full cooperation with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.”
24 January 2021