From May 13 to 17, the city of Lima is hosting the Fifth Eropean Union-Latin American and the Caribbean Summit, a reunion of Heads of State that takes place every two years to strengthen political bonds between the regions and set common goals. This year, the Lima Summit is focusing in two main areas: Poverty, inequality and inclusion; and Sustainable development, climate change, environment and energy.
According to EFE news agency, "the main goal of the meeting will be to set the 'Lima agenda against poverty, inequality and exclusion', which will aim to improve the synergy between the two Blocs and strengthen the European cooperation to achieve social cohesion in Latin America and the Caribbean."
In terms of the environment, the agency informed the goal is to encourage appropriate industrialization processes in Latin America, to prevent the region to make the same mistakes than some of Europe's developed countries.In an interview with EFE news agency, the coordinator of the Fifth EU-ALC Summit, Hernan Couturier, said the poverty subject was not chosen randomly. "The EU success over the last 25 years has had a lot to do with public social policies. We now Europe shares the thought that in order to consolidate a strategic alliance between the two regions, we cannot have the asymmetries we have today."
On the subject of the environment, the executive said: "Climate change is a global phenomena that Europe is going to feel in a particular way, so they don't want us to get into the same mistakes they did during two hundred years, which have led them to high levels of contamination."
In this matter, the summit will have the support of a group of experts that participated in the First EU-ALC Political Dialogue of Environmental Ministries, which took place in Brussels last March 6 and 7.
During a video-conference last week, the Foreign Relations commissary from the European Union, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, said that during the summit the EU would announce the plan "EUrocLIMA" (Euro-climate).
"With this program we'll propose to strengthen the environmental dialogue in all levels, exchange knowledge, and identify and coordinate actions that are already taking place in the region in order to increase their efficacy and impact," said the commissary, according to Andina news agency. "Poor and vulnerable countries and communities will be the first affected by climate change, and Latin America and the Caribbean are among them."
Ferrero-Waldner also said, "Climate change is a global issue that knows no-bondaries, and only if we act together, in a combined and global manner, we'll be able to succeed."
The summit will gather the Heads of State of 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries and 27 from the European Union.
Countries participating include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela from Latin America.
Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago for Central America and the Caribbean.
And Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Romania, and Sweden from Europe.
The last summit took place in Vienna in 2006 under the overall theme "Strengthening the bi-regional strategic association." During the opening ceremony, an Argentine girl broke into the place with a Greenpeace sign asking for political action against the pulp mills issue in Argentina (picture above).
::V EU-LAC Summit official website
::European Union site on the V EU-LAC Summit
::Original article: Fight against poverty and climate change, themes of the Lima Summit (EFE via RPP, in Spanish).
::Europe will announce environmental action plan at Lima Summit (Andina news agency, in Spanish).
::The pulp-mills issue in Argentina