The European Union and Namibia late last month took part in a political dialogue engaging in an in-depth discussion on a number of topics of shared interest, ranging from the multilateral order, AU-EU relations, climate change, biodiversity and green-recovery to the Covid-19 response and economic recovery.
In a statement issued this week, the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation and EU delegation said the discussion on human rights, with particular reference to gender violence, was rich and called for more detailed deliberations.
The Namibian representatives confirmed the upcoming launch of the International Women Peace Centre on 31 October 2020, while the EU Delegation expressed support for the activities of the Centre.
The country's priorities included the economic recovery post-Covid19, climate change and the need for increased trade opportunities and investment.
As a testimony of the central place of the tourism sector, the Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah appealed for Namibia to be added to the 'EU safe destination list'. Furthermore, requests for visa liberalisation as well as more flexible tax regimes and rules of origin under the Economic Partnership Agreement were clearly articulated.
Both parties reiterated their respective commitment to and belief in a rules-based global order and multilateral action to resolve global challenges.
The session was co-chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Nandi-Ndaitwah and Ambassador of the European Union to Namibia, Sinikka Antila.
Both co-chairs declared appreciation for the exchange of views allowing for a better understanding of respective positions and opportunities for reinforced cooperation.
Six European Union Member States attended, namely Spain, Germany, France and Finland, while Sweden and Hungary (non-resident Member States) joined via WebEx. The Namibian side brought to the table representatives from the Ministries of International Relations and Cooperation, Justice, Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security, and Industrialisation and Trade.
The Office of the Prime Minister was also represented as well as the National Authorising Officer from the National Planning Commission. Professor Kaire Mbuende, Namibia's Ambassador to the European Union in Brussels was also present.