Brussels, 20 November 2007 - "Peace and stability are an indispensable precondition for development. Conversely, development is a necessary condition for long-term peace and stability. More than three dozen violent conflicts are currently shattering numerous countries and regions. In the majority of cases they are caused by grievances, accompanied by regional conflict constellations and characterised by a complex structure and dynamic development. The only way out are cross-cutting, differentiated resolution strategies and a close interaction between security and development policies on the one hand and between states on the other," stated State Secretary Hans Winkler at the meeting of development ministers.
"The reestablishment of reliable structures in the fields of rule of law, democracy and human rights is considered a key strategic area. With its rich experience Austria can play a role here, focusing on joint education measures and training programmes on the rights of women and children and supporting women’s local peace initiatives," emphasised Winkler.
"At the same time, however, we have to ask ourselves how the international presence of peace-building and peacekeeping operations can be better used for the development of the region concerned. Rash action will not lead to the desired results. We shall therefore carry out a number of analyses and studies in the course of the coming months that will allow us to work out suitable suggestions for improvement," continued Winkler.
In the lead-up to the EU-Africa Summit on 8-9 December Winkler stressed that "the new common EU-Africa strategy which will be adopted in Lisbon is an important step towards putting our relations on a new footing. This new partnership is a challenging development on both sides. In addition to the ACP states it will, for the first time, also comprise the Mediterranean states in North Africa, in particular Morocco and Algeria. Over the years, the European Union and Africa have become strongly interwoven, both politically and economically. What we have to do now is build up long-term structures which will bring true peace and sustainable economic and environmental development," concluded Winkler.
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