Minister Costello attends EU-Africa Summit in Brussels
Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD, is representing the Government at the EU-Africa Summit, which takes place in Brussels today and tomorrow, 2-3 April 2014.
The Summit, which will be attended by leaders of EU and African countries and by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, will focus on progress and opportunities in Africa, on the theme Investing in People, Prosperity, and Peace.
Speaking ahead of the Summit, Minister Costello said:
“I will address the Summit on the opportunities offered by high economic growth rates in many African countries to transform the relationship between the EU and the continent, in particular on the critical role of agriculture in generating sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and on Ireland’s cooperation with Africa in fighting hunger and malnutrition.
“The Summit was preceded by the EU-Africa Foreign Ministers’ meeting yesterday. During the meeting I raised the importance of strengthening cooperation on peace and security issues. In particular I focussed on the urgent need for further progress on disarmament, the implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty adopted by the UN General Assembly a year ago today, and on the continuing need to tackle the issue of 300,000 child soldiers forced to serve in conflicts in fifty countries in Africa and other regions.”
The Summit will discuss the continuing humanitarian challenges in Africa, peace and security in crisis areas such as the Central African Republic, trade and development, and on building a new partnership between Europe and Africa to tackle global challenges, including climate change. This is in line with the Government’s Africa Strategy, and the expansion of Ireland’s trade, investment, development and political ties with African countries.