I propose to take Questions Nos. 14 to 18, inclusive, together.
The EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, summit of heads of State and Government which took place in Brussels on 10 and 11 June on the theme, "shaping our common future: working for prosperous, cohesive and sustainable societies for our citizens" was the eighth bi-regional meeting between the EU and the 33 countries of the Latin American and Caribbean region since the partnership was founded 16 years ago. It was also the second summit with the recently established CELAC as the EU’s counterpart. The summit was chaired jointly by European Council President Tusk and by President Correa of Ecuador, which currently holds the presidency of CELAC.
The format of the summit involved two working group sessions and a discussion session. I attended both working group sessions and spoke on the theme of re-invigorating the bi-regional partnership. The Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Dara Murphy, attended the less formal discussion session on 11 June on my behalf. In my intervention I supported closer ties between the EU and CELAC and raised the key global challenges of development and climate change, our priorities with regard to human rights, disarmament and conflict resolution as well as the importance of 2015 for global co-operation. I noted the historic opportunity this year provides for global consensus on many of the key challenges we face, particularly the UN’s post-2015 development agenda, where Ireland was one of the UN co-facilitators for the final negotiations, and efforts to tackle climate change.
The main outcome documents of the summit were the political declaration, entitled A Partnership for the Next Generation, and an action plan which I am circulating with my reply. The focus of the action plan is on areas including science, research, innovation and technology, sustainable development, environment, climate change, energy, regional integration and education to promote social inclusion and cohesion.
On the margins of the summit I had three bilateral meetings with the Presidents of Chile, Colombia and Mexico. In my meeting with President Bachelet Jeria of Chile, I expressed my congratulations on the Start-up Chile programme and my appreciation that Irish entrepreneurs have had the opportunity to participate in the programme. I also extended an invitation to the President to visit Ireland. During my conversation with President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, I noted Ireland’s support for the peace process in Colombia, the efforts of the Colombian Government to promote human rights and Ireland’s recent ratification of the EU, Colombia, Peru Free Trade Agreement as well as an interest in growing our relations with Colombia. I also noted that the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Ms Patti Londoño, was due to visit Ireland on 17 and 18 June 2015. She subsequently did so and met with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Deputy Charlie Flanagan. I would like to take the opportunity to welcome warmly the
appointment of the former Tánaiste, Deputy Eamon Gilmore, to the role of EU Special Envoy for the peace process in Colombia. I wish Deputy Gilmore every success in the important task of spearheading the EU's support for Colombia's efforts to build a lasting peace for the benefit of all its people.
I also met with President Peña Nieto of Mexico and discussed trade issues between Ireland and Mexico with him as well as the EU-Mexico Global Agreement. I reiterated an invitation extended by President Michael D. Higgins in Mexico in 2013 to the President to visit Ireland.
I meet regularly with my European counterparts and while we met informally at this summit, I did not have substantive meetings with them. I met most recently with Prime Minister Cameron yesterday in London.