Santiago de Chile, 25 January 2013 – “My principal message at the meeting of the Foreign ministers of the EU and the Latin American and Caribbean countries (EU-CELAC) and during my bilateral discussions with Chile, Brazil, Panama, Haiti, Cuba and the regional organisations in the Caribbean was: Let us intensify our cooperation in the fight against drugs and corruption and in the future oriented issue of sustainable energy. The Vienna UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) together represent a competence centre for security requirements such as those needed for the fight against drugs, corruption and organised crime. Vienna can thus serve as a bridge for a stronger dialogue between the EU and Latin America in these issues”, Austrian State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka said at the start of the EU-CELAC Heads of State, Government and Foreign Ministers Summit today.
“Growth and stability are the main focal issues in Santiago. Corruption and drugs destabilise the rule of law in a country and damage the economy as a consequence. This is because investors are only prepared to commit themselves where they find the rule of law. Joint action by the EU with Latin America on the drugs and corruption issues will benefit both sides and bring clear added value to the bi-regional partnership. IACA membership of more countries of Latin America would be an important step in this direction”, Lopatka said.
“Sustainable development is another prime issue on the summit agenda. Energy plays a key role here, because access to energy is a fundamental prerequisite for development. We have eight international organisations that deal with energy issues in Vienna, these include the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and OPEC. We recently succeeded in establishing a new organisation with an energy mandate in Vienna, the office for the implementation of the initiative “Sustainable Energy for All”. This office will be handling sums in the region of 50 billion euros. This is an area where Vienna can also represent a bridge between Latin America, the Caribbean and the EU. I have suggested that the EU-LAC foundation establishes contacts with this office for sounding out potential joint projects”, the State Secretary said.
“If the relations of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean with the international organisations based in Vienna are to be strengthened, it is essential for these states to be able to demonstrate a stronger presence here as a region. The Organisation of the East Caribbean States (OECS) plans to open an office in Vienna in the course of this year. I have once more assured the Director General Len Ishmael of our support offer made for the settlement of this representation. The OECS representation will mean that a third regional organisation would settle in Vienna in addition to the EU and the Arab League. This would represent a further upgrading for the international location Vienna with its presence of around 140 bilateral embassies and permanent representations and 5000 diplomats”, Lopatka concluded.
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