EU Ambassador to TT
Europe Day on May 9, is the anniversary of the signing of the Schuman Declaration in 1950 and it is typically a celebration of peace and unity in Europe.
Sadly, our celebrations of peace and unity today are over shadowed by the grim reality of war having returned to Europe – and to quote Robert Schuman’s words, “World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it,” these resonate now more than ever!
This war is unjustified and without any foundation. The UN International Court of Justice ordered Russia to halt its intervention on March 16, citing that the Court had not seen any evidence to support the Kremlin’s justification for the war.
All of us will have seen the devastation, destruction and death inflicted upon the people of Ukraine – the men, women and children who have lost their lives, the millions displaced and now scattered across Europe and other parts of the world, and the millions still withstanding the worst of this Russian incursion.
In the midst of these dark times we may take comfort from the huge and unprecedented international response with 140-plus countries supporting condemnations of Russia’s actions and I am proud that our host nation has been a co-sponsor for two resolutions.
We are further grateful to TT for standing against this unprovoked and unjustified war – for swiftly condemning the attack, for coordination with Caricom partners and the country’s vote at the UN.
The EU will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine. When Ukraine prevails we, the entire global community, will prevail… good has to prevail over evil.
The EU is determined to continue with our international obligations, to reinforce our strong relations and to act in solidarity with partner countries around the world to counteract global challenges.
It is for this reason that the EU is investing up to euro300 billion to support sustainable development around the world, via high quality projects in digital, climate change, green energy, transport, infrastructure health and education and research. This "Global Gateway" is Europe’s strategy to connect the world in a smart, sustainable and fair way.
The EU has also recognised the important role that our young people must play to build a better future, so we have designated 2022 as the European Year of Youth. Our intention is to prioritise young people, amplify their concerns and empower them to participate in the policy and decision making process.
Here in TT, we are using the opportunity to amplify the voice of youth. Most recently, we engaged the young people of the UWI and Costaatt and, we are also planning to engage with young people throughout the year including through visits to schools, the promotion of Erasmus+ in the fields of digital, agriculture, fisheries, tourism/eco-tourism, and much else.
The long relationship between TT and the EU, already nearly 46 years, is both deep and close and I am proud of the achievements and looking forwards to the future ones.
I offer the government and people of TT my thanks and I wish you all the best on Schuman Day!