Joint Statement by EU Vice President Catherine Ashton and Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs on the occasion of Africa Day 25 May 2010

EU website. “For many countries in Africa, 2010 marks an important anniversary, as independence swept across the continent fifty years ago. And today, Africa Day, marks the founding of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963. This was the first step towards the African Union which we know today – 53 countries bound by one Union, encompassing the diversity and dynamism of the modern Africa. For the European Union, Africa Day is also a chance to look forward. In particular, we look forward to building on the successes of the first ever Joint EU-Africa Strategy adopted two and a half years ago. This is taking relations between the two continents beyond traditional development to forge a genuine partnership of equals. It goes beyond Institutions, to emphasise the people to people links. And it has opened the way for Europe and Africa to look beyond their own borders to work together in tackling the global challenges such as climate change. Among those challenges, the fight against poverty remains a key priority. The EU looks forward to preparing together with Africa for the UN High Level Conference on the Millennium Development Goals this September. The challenge of climate change is another important example where the two partners are working together ahead of the next UNFCCC conference in Cancun. Sustainable development and the promotion of democracy and good governance remain top priorities of our partnership. Perhaps most of all, this Africa Day is a chance to look forward to the EU Africa Summit in November and the adoption of a new action plan, which will set the agenda for the relationship for the first years of    this    new    decade.    Europe and    Africa –    two continents, one partnership.”


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