On 28 and 29 June High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Josep Borrell participated in the first in-person Ministerial Meetings under the Italian G20 Presidency in Matera, Italy. The meeting of the Foreign Ministers was followed by a Joint Meeting of Foreign and Development Ministers, at which Commissioner for International Partnerships,Jutta Urpilainen participated. This session was a first ever G20 meeting with the participation of Development Ministers, initiated following a proposal by the Commissioner. Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič participated in a G20 ministerial humanitarian meeting in Brindisi on 30 June, co-organised with the World Food Programme.
The Foreign Ministers discussed multilateralism and global governance and how to fight together the pandemic and build back better. They also discussed how to renew momentum of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially in Africa.
HR/VP Borrell underlined in the discussion:” We have to engage more in providing education and security in Africa, especially in places where terrorism is strong. If schools are closed and millions of children without education in the Sahel, we will face a lost generation and create a breeding ground for violent extremism. There is no development without security and vice versa.”
The G20 Foreign and Development Ministers affirmed in their discussions the need to take collective and concrete action regarding the most pressing global challenges, ranging from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery, to climate change and trade. The EU remains committed to add to the renewed global momentum seen in recent months and contribute to advance towards a more stable and sustainable future.
At the Joint Foreign and Development Ministerial Meeting, HR/VP Borrell and Commissioner Urpilainen participated in talks devoted to Food Security, Nutrition and Food Systems, resulting in an outcome document entitled the Matera Declaration. The unprecedented participation of Development Ministers at G20 level testifies the importance of supporting a strong, inclusive and sustainable recovery in developing countries.
Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen highlighted: “I thank the Italian Presidency for having convened the G20 in its development ministers formation for the first time. This format is an important innovation to be maintained, as it links global development challenges to the wider G20 agenda and decision-making.”
The meeting of the Development Ministers resulted in a Communique, highlighting ongoing G20 efforts in the areas of Financing for Sustainable Development, territorial development and SDG localisation.
The G20 together with the World Food Prorgamme organised a ministerial event on the role of logistics in humanitarian preparedness and response for the COVID-19 pandemic and future humanitarian and health crises. An EU humanitarian air bridge flight will depart today for Mozambique from Brindisi.
Commissioner Lenarčič commented: “The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how crucial robust and agile logistics networks are to respond to this unprecedented health but also humanitarian crisis. It has forced the humanitarian community to re-think our overall preparedness and response efforts. By cooperating and applying all resources available, we can build robust and agile systems that absorb sudden disasters and global emergencies of the future.”
In the margins of the plenary sessions, HR/VP Borrell held bilateral meetings with several of his counterparts, including the Ministers of Argentina, Brunei (ASEAN Chair), India and Singapore. Commissioner Urpilainen also held bilateral meetings with her counterparts including the Ministers of South Africa and Indonesia, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Argentina, France and India, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy as well as with the leaders of the UNDP and the OECD.
The European Union is a full member of the G20, alongside three of its Member States: France, Germany, and Italy. Spain is a permanent guest, The Netherlands are an invited country during this year’s meetings.
Italy’s G20 Presidency will culminate in the Leaders’ Summit on 30-31 October in Rome, to be attended by Presidents von der Leyen and Michel. Its agenda is built around three pillars: People, Planet and Prosperity. The EU fully supports these priorities- the fight against COVID-19, pandemic preparedness, economic recovery, climate change, digital taxation and trade. The G20 as an important vehicle for strengthening multilateralism.
Team Europe has mobilised a recovery package of over €40 billion to help our partner countries address the health emergency and humanitarian needs, strengthen health, water and sanitations systems and support the socio-economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Official website of the Foreign Ministerial Meeting and Joint Foreign and Development Ministerial Meeting:
Press conference, video and photo gallery: