Friday, April 20, 2007

EU Pledges Aid to Latin America

[Editorial Note: This is report from Dominican Today supports the conclusions expressed in the previously posted Latino Insurgent Analysis "South American Union Becoming a Reality". ]

Europe to present 2.6B euro aid package for Latin America in Dominican summit

SANTO DOMINGO. – During the 13th Ministerial Meeting with the Rio Group the European Union (EU) will present today Friday its 2.6 billion euro aid package for Latin America, to be disbursed over a period of 6 years.

"This dialogue is really important because we have close cultural ties and also share common values; in addition that there is no another alternative, we’re in this globalized world, we must cooperate more closely than in the past," said Germany’s Foreign Relations minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The diplomat and current president of the European Union Cabinet delivered the inaugural speech to open the summit, in which the EU’s financial aid package for Latin America will be announced.

For her part, Foreign Relations commissar Benita Ferrero-Waldner, quoted by the German Press Agency (DPA) said on Thursday "I believe that with this package we have kept our promises."

Ferrero-Waldner cited the commitments assumed in the 4th meeting of Heads of State of Latin America and Europe, held in Vienna in 2006. She and the members of the delegation, headed by Steinmeier, will present the financial aid program to the 20 Rio Group countries’ Foreign ministers before Friday.

According to the cooperation project, the 2.6 billion euros package will serve to finance programs to fight poverty, inequality and exclusion in Latin America from 2007 to 2013.

The funds will also allow the creation monitoring programs against government corruption, respect for human rights, as well as to promote regional economic cooperation and the relations between the European Union and Latin America. The EU’s cooperation proposal will also fund programs of sustainable development and to protect the biodiversity.

"Our relations are not only economic relations or of trade (...)therefore it’s fundamental that we find the capacity to see world-wide events with the same eyes to face the new challenges," such as climatic change, said Javier Solana, the senior European diplomat on Thursday.

The Foreign Relations ministers of the Rio Group’s 20 countries, a Latin America and the Caribbean dialogue mechanism, and the 27 EU nations are meeting today Friday to define collaboration programs and financial aid for Haiti.

After the inaugural ceremony the ministers began their first work session behind closed doors.

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