Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honour being here present in this historic moment, witnessing and celebrating with you all, with the people of Mozambique, with Africa, with the whole world.
Let me say that in a world that is full of conflicts, where everything seems to go in the wrong direction, you are giving us hope today.
Mozambique is giving us hope, Africa is giving us hope.
You have to be proud of that as we are proud of you tonight. Your leadership shows today that peace is always possible - difficult, but possible. Difficult, but always so much better than conflict, for all.
In Europe we have lived it for centuries. We are a continent that has been at war for literally thousands of years. Sometimes, the rest of the world has suffered from our wars. When we - our grandfathers and our grandmothers - realised that making peace was more convenient than making war, then Europe became what it is today: a land of peace, a land of prosperity - always with difficulties, as difficulties are part of life - but, I think this is the message we bring today here. You have understood that peace is more convenient for every single Mozambican and that we have the responsibility to build it for the benefit of all of your citizens. As a European, as a friend, let me say so - today, Mozambique and Africa make us all proud and hopeful.
I am proud to bring to you today this friendship, but also the support of the European insitutions and the European people. The European Union has supported the peace process over difficult years. And I remember very well - if you allow me a personal note - my first visit here to this beautiful city of Maputo, it was three years ago. The talks I had back then with the President [of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi], and with representatives of RENAMO, in difficult times, passing messages of encouragement that I hope have contributed to get here today to this wonderful historic moment that we celebrate today, tell me how far you have managed to go in these three years. And if I can share a personal anecdote: since 2016, every single time that President Nyusi and I met, here or in Europe or around the world, people were asking me, when are you coming back to Mozambique? And I was telling you: you sign the Agreement, I come to witness it. Thank you for giving me a very good reason to come back.
Today, you can count on the European Union to continue to be at your side as you build peace. Because peace is not just a signature on paper; it is not just the absence of war and conflict; it is a living project that needs to be built every single day. It is a commitment that we have taken today, that we have witnessed today, that has to translate into real positive change in the lives of every single woman and man in Mozambique. We know that as of tomorrow you will need all the support that friends, close and far away, can give. This is why I am proud today to announce that the European Union has already allocated €60 million to support the implementation of the Agreement that you have signed today and I hope that many will follow our example. We want to finance projects for local communities all across the country, we want to accompany decentralisation. We want to promote reconciliation and - most of all - we want to make sure that every single citizen will have something to benefit from peace. Only this will make you and all of us win a definite peace.
You now share something very important, the two of you: having been on different sides, today somehow you share one responsibility: that is the responsibility to make peace work and to make all your fellow citizens benefit from it.
But also we have a responsibility. We, the international community, from the region, from the continent, having witnessed this historic moment, we have the responsibility to accompany you and support you - all Mozambicans - every step of the way. As the President of South Africa [Cyril Ramaphosa] has said: You are not and must never be alone from now on, from tomorrow. This is also why we will be with you to observe and accompany your next elections in October. You have invited us to deploy an Electoral Observation Mission to the country. The Mission will start in September and cover the full electoral process until the publication of the final results. This will be the biggest international Observation Mission to the country. We do this because we know that democracy will be the important part to the implementation of this Agreement.
And we continue to be with you also as you face the challenges of national disasters and the impact of climate change. Such as the national disasters that have earlier this year killed hundreds and left hundreds of thousands without a home - we are with you. We have already mobilised €100 million for the recovery of these areas and you can count on us to continue to be at your side also as you face these challenges. But beyond everything, what Mozambique truly needs is peace and reconciliation. This is the precondition to tackle the challenges your country is facing but most of all it is the precondition to open the way to private investments, to become a wonderful land of opportunities.
We Europeans are with you. We will continue to help you to win the peace, to help you show the world that positive developments are possible with courage and leadership. To create quality jobs, to attract sustainable investment.
We are here as friends and partners not to work for Mozambique, but to work with Mozambique as you shape a better future for your country finally free of violence and finally at peace.
You can count on the European Union to accompany you every single step of this journey as a reliable, respectful and cooperative partner and friend.