Foreign Affairs Council and Development Foreign Affairs Council
Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
David Lidington (Minister of State (Europe and NATO), Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Aylesbury, Conservative)
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs will attend the Foreign Affairs Council on
Foreign Affairs Council (FAC)
Building on commitments made at the Bonn conference in December, Ministers will consider what support the EU can provide towards civil policing in Afghanistan, looking forward to the NATO Chicago summit later this month. Ministers will also look forward to the Tokyo conference in July, where the international community will focus on ensuring the viability of the Afghan state.
This will also be an opportunity for Ministers, through agreed conclusions, to welcome the progress made in Afghanistan and reaffirm the EU’s commitment to supporting a stable and secure Afghanistan. We expect there to be a reference to making a commitment to an inclusive political process reflecting the views of all Afghans, including civil society and women. The conclusions are also likely to emphasise the importance of the Afghan Government making progress on governance and rule of law, including tackling corruption.
Middle East Peace Process
We are seeking conclusions that will reaffirm the EU’s position, that the changes across the Arab world underline the need for progress on the middle east peace process. We expect the conclusions to welcome the exchange of letters between the parties initiated on
Ministers will review developments in Syria, Libya and Algeria.
On Libya, some partners may call for the EU to increase its post-conflict efforts in Libya, stressing the importance of the EU delegation being fully staffed and the EU playing a central role in co-ordinating member states’ input to the stabilisation effort.
We expect Ministers to follow up the EU monitoring report of Algeria’s parliamentary elections of
There is likely to be a brief discussion of plans for the EU-Mexico summit, which will take place in the margins of the Los Cabos G20 summit scheduled for the 18-
Ministers will discuss the situation in Ukraine, including the continuing use of selective justice. They will consider the need to ensure free and fair parliamentary elections in October, and the importance of Ukraine making progress on a commonly agreed reform agenda. The discussion takes place against a backdrop of heightened tensions over the Euro 2012 competition, and the treatment of Yulia Tymoshenko.
Council Conclusions on Agenda for Change and Budget Support
We expect Ministers to adopt the Council conclusions for both the Agenda for Change and The Future of EU Budget Support with limited discussion. The coalition Government welcome both sets of conclusions and have ensured a strong focus on poverty reduction, results, increased transparency and value for money throughout.
2012 Annual Report on EU Develo pment Aid Targets
Ministers will discuss the findings of the Commission’s annual report 2012 on EU development aid targets. Council conclusions are expected to be adopted welcoming the report. The discussion is likely to focus on how to achieve the EU aid commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on aid by 2015.
This report is welcome as a means to hold other member states to account and the coalition Government will continue to press others to fulfil their aid commitments.
Ministers will discuss the current situation in Burma. This will be an opportunity to set the direction for a properly planned and co-ordinated step-up in aid to Burma in response to the recent reforms.
Development Ministers may discuss Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
Council Conclusions on food security under the Horn of Africa initiative
Commissioner Piebalgs will present the Commission’s approach to SHARE (Supporting Horn of Africa Resilience). The Council will adopt conclusions welcoming the approach and recognising the importance of support to build resilience in the horn of Africa.
Council Conclusions on Policy Coherence for Development (PCD)
Council conclusions will be adopted by Ministers with no discussion.
State of play on Joint Programming
Commissioner Piebalgs will present the latest situation in regards to joint programming. The coalition Government believe that any incentives for improved EU co-ordination, including joint programming approaches, need to come
out of country-led processes, ongoing partnership discussions and must be owned by the partner country. We will not accept any Brussels-led processes.
International Family Planning
The Secretary of State for International Development will update the Council on the plans of the coalition Government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to address the urgent need for increased access to family planning in developing countries. The UK will be holding a global summit in London on