Declaration of the EU-CELAC Summit 2023

1. We, the Heads of State or Government of the European Union (EU) and of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission met in Brussels on 17 and 18 July 2023 for the third EU-CELAC Summit.

2. We commit to renewing and further strengthening our long-standing bi-regional partnership, which is founded on shared values and interests and strong economic, social and cultural ties.

3. We will reinforce our dialogue and foster extensive people-to-people contacts. We reaffirm that by working together as sovereign partners, we are stronger and better placed to face the multiple crises and challenges of our times including food insecurity, poverty, inequalities in both regions, supply chain disruptions, and rising inflation. We will also cooperate to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and environmental degradation, according to the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.

4. We welcome the EU-Caribbean Leaders’ meeting, as a tangible sign of strengthening of institutional engagement between the EU and the Caribbean, having regard to the specific needs and interests of the sub-region.

5. We look forward to the signature of the partnership agreement between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the European Union and its Member States and the implementation of the regional protocol, which will further strengthen relations between the Caribbean and the EU.

6. We emphasise our commitment to foster cooperation and friendly relations between our peoples irrespective of the differences in our political systems and taking into consideration the differences in our economic and social or development levels. Inspired by our shared values and guided by the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, we will work together to shape our common future.

7. We reaffirm the shared values upon which our partnership is based remain unchanged: resilient, inclusive and democratic societies, the promotion, protection and respect of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, the rule of law, democracy, including free and fair, inclusive, transparent and credible elections and media freedom, inclusive multilateralism and international cooperation, based on the principles and objectives of the UN Charter and International Law, including the principles of sovereignty, self-determination, non-intervention in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of States and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against territorial integrity.

8. 75 years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 30 years after the adoption of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, rule of law and human rights – be they civil, political, economic, social or cultural, including the right to development all of which are understood as universal, indivisible and interdependent – remain key principles of our renewed alliance. In this context, care must be taken to recognise the importance of ensuring universality, objectivity and non-selectivity in the consideration of human rights issues, and the elimination of double standards and politicization.

9. We commit to fighting multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and gender based violence, and to promoting fundamental labour principles and rights and ILO core labour standards and conventions of decent work for all, gender equality, full and equal representation and participation of all women and girls in decision-making processes, rights of indigenous peoples as set out in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, rights of the child, human rights defenders, and the rights of persons in situations of vulnerability and people of African descent.

10. We acknowledge and profoundly regret the untold suffering inflicted on millions of men, women and children as a result of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We underline our full support to the related principles and elements contained in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, including the acknowledgment that slavery and the slave trade, including the transatlantic slave trade, were appalling tragedies in the history of humanity not only because of their abhorrent barbarism but also in terms of their magnitude, organized nature and especially their negation of the essence of the victims, and that slavery and the slave trade are a crime against humanity. CELAC referred to the CARICOM ten point Plan for Reparatory Justice.

11. With reference to UNGA Resolution A/77/7 of 3 November 2022 on the necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed against Cuba, we recall our opposition to laws and regulations with extra-territorial effect. The re-designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism, and its maintenance on the list, has introduced obstacles to international financial transactions with the island.

12. We highlight the further progress on European and Latin American and Caribbean cooperation, and welcome the European integration and the CELAC consolidation, noting that CELAC has declared Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.

13. Regarding the question of sovereignty over the Islas Malvinas / Falkland Islands, the European Union took note of CELAC’s historical position based on the importance of dialogue and respect for international law in the peaceful solution of disputes.

14. We further reaffirm our fundamental commitment to all the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, including the sovereign equality of all States and respect for their territorial integrity, and political independence, resolution of disputes by peaceful means and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law.

15. We express deep concern on the ongoing war against Ukraine, which continues to cause immense human suffering and is exacerbating existing fragilities in the global economy, constraining growth, increasing inflation, disrupting supply chains, heightening energy and food insecurity and elevating financial stability risks. In this sense, we support the need for a just and sustainable peace. We reiterate equally our support for the Black Sea Grain Initiative and the efforts of the UNSG to secure its extension. We support all diplomatic efforts aimed at a just and sustainable peace in line with the UN charter. We recall our specific national positions as expressed in other fora, particularly at the United Nations Security Council and the United Nations General Assembly including in Resolutions No. ES- 11/1, dated 2 March 2022 and No. ES-11/6 dated 23 February 2023. We reaffirm our commitment to the Charter of the United Nations and International Law, including the need to respect the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of all nations. It is essential to uphold international law and the multilateral system that safeguards peace and stability.

16. We recognise that planet Earth and its ecosystems are our home, and that “Mother Earth” is a common expression in a number of countries and regions in the framework of the resolution A/RES/77/169 of the United Nations General Assembly.

17. We underscore the need to strengthen the multilateral system and to promote more effective and inclusive global governance, respectful of international law. We commit to strengthening our biregional cooperation for the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda and will join forces to support the UN Secretary General in his efforts to reinvigorate multilateralism and ensure an effective and accelerated implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We will work to enhance cooperation and coordination, in relevant multilateral fora on issues of common interest, including human rights, labour rights, climate change and biodiversity loss, food and energy security, addressing and countering the world drug problem and organised crime, migration, health, digitalisation and taxation. We commit to contributing to the UN system reform efforts, including of the UN Security Council.

18. We further agree to strengthen our collaboration in international financial institutions and multilateral organisations, recognising that it is essential to have a fair, inclusive and effective multilateral system that allocates appropriate resources to sustainable development, responds to the specific needs of the most vulnerable countries, strengthens the level of participation and ensures the representation of developing countries and that promotes access – under favourable and transparent conditions – to the financial resources necessary to promote their economic stability and reduce external indebtedness, to improve the debt sustainability and build more equitable, prosperous, and just societies that contribute to sustainable development. We recognise and will explore the need to use criteria beyond GDP, such as climate vulnerability, to determine eligibility of countries to access concessional financing, and seek to provide a financial stimulus so that no country has to choose between fighting poverty and protecting the planet. We will follow closely the evolution of different initiatives such as of the Summit on a New Global Financing Pact, including the Paris Pact for People and Planet, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the Bridgetown Initiative.

19. We further reaffirm our strong joint commitment, in pursuit of the objective of UNFCCC, to tackle with ambition climate change by strengthening the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, as well as our commitment to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), including all provisions on means of implementation and the swift ratification and implementation of the High Seas Treaty for the States Parties.

20. We encourage actions and commitments for the protection, conservation, restoration and sustainable use of the oceans in view of the 2024 ‘Our Ocean Conference’ in Greece, and the third UN Ocean Conference hosted by Costa Rica and France in Nice in June 2025, preceded by a high-level event on Ocean Action in Costa Rica in June 2024.

21. We recognise that the issue of sargassum significantly impacts the economies, marine flora, fauna, and fishing activities of the entire Greater Caribbean region. We understand the urgent need to present this situation to the United Nations General Assembly, seeking its declaration as a regional emergency.

22. We recognise the impact that climate change is having on all countries, affecting particularly developing and the most vulnerable countries, including Small Island Developing States, in the Caribbean, the EU’s outermost regions, overseas countries and territories that are associated to the European Union, and landlocked developing countries.

23. We stress the importance to fulfil the commitment by developed countries jointly to mobilise promptly USD 100 billion per year for climate finance to support developing countries, and to double adaptation finance by 2025.

24. We are committed to leading a transformational shift towards a sustainable economy and to reforming and progressively eliminating environmentally harmful subsidies. We welcome the decisions adopted at COP 26 and COP 27, including our collective reaffirmation to pursue efforts to keep the 1,5C goal within reach. We agree to promote the acceleration of the deployment of renewable energies and the increase of energy efficiency at COP 28.

25. We particularly welcome the establishment of funding arrangements for Loss and Damage, including a Fund, and are committed to working towards its full operationalisation.

26. We reaffirm that the right to access to safe drinking water and sanitation has emphasized the centrality of water for life itself. In this regard, we highlight the necessity to implement integrated water resources management across sectors at all levels sustainably managing water resources, reducing water pollution, including through increased international cooperation. Furthermore, we take note of the UN Water Conference and the work towards the appointment of a Special Envoy for Water.

27. We recognise the importance of international cooperation in the post-pandemic period in order to promote sustainable development, with particular emphasis on addressing structural gaps in infrastructure, productivity, social, environmental and institutional issues, as well as on Disaster Risk Preparedness and Risk Management.

28. We recognise the potential contribution of the EU-LAC Global Gateway Investment Agenda, which will address investment gaps in line with the common priorities of the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean, with the goal of mobilising both private capital and public funding for sustainable development, including digital transformation, education, health infrastructures, energy production, environmental perspectives, raw materials and local value chains.

29. We stress the importance of cooperating to promote a responsible human-centric, values-based and inclusive model of digital transformation that protects privacy as a fundamental right, increases digital connectivity and cybersecurity, aims at closing digital gaps, fosters the trustworthy development and use of Artificial Intelligence, and contributes to trust in the digital economy. We welcome the work of the EU-CELAC Joint Initiative on Research and Innovation and wish to continue it.

30. We express our commitment to take forward the bi-regional partnership on local manufacturing of vaccines, medicines, and other health technologies, and strengthening health systems resilience to improve prevention, preparedness, and response to public health emergencies, in support of the CELAC Plan on Health Self-Sufficiency. We look forward to the progress of the ongoing discussions on a new legally binding instrument on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response in the framework of the World Health Organisation, with the aim to agree it by May 2024.

31. We recognise the importance of open and fair trade based on internationally agreed rules, productive supply chains, and access to markets, and their contribution to promote sustainable development in its three mutually supportive dimensions, economic, social and environmental. In this respect, investment and cooperation with the aim of achieving closer integration in clean energy supply chains, including critical raw materials and technology transfer, would make a significant contribution to the SDGs. We will continue to further strengthen and develop trade and investment relations between the EU and CELAC countries and regions. We stress the importance of full implementation of Association and Trade Agreements between the EU and CELAC partners. We call for the ratification of agreements signed and currently applied. We welcome ongoing processes towards the signature of the modernised agreement between the EU and Chile and the EU and Mexico in the coming months. We take note of ongoing work between the EU and Mercosur.

32. We agree to consolidate and strengthen EU-CELAC cooperation initiatives in the field of citizen security and social justice, such as the EU-LAC Partnership on Justice and Security, by combatting organised crime in all its forms, as well as corruption and money laundering, including through capacity building. We recognise the significant challenge and the efforts made in the fight against international criminal groups, especially those involved in illicit drugs production and trafficking as well as the trafficking of firearms and human beings. Preventing and combatting the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons (SALW) is a priority in this regard, for this last purpose, the intervention of all relevant stakeholders is essential. We welcome the work of the EUCELAC Coordination and Cooperation Mechanism on Drugs and wish to continue it.

33. On its twentieth anniversary, we reiterate the obligation of the States to advance in the Implementation of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and its mechanism. We welcome the Political Declaration emanating from the Special Session of the General Assembly against corruption (UNGASS 2021), as well as its follow-up resolution.

34. We recognise parliamentary diplomacy as an important dimension of the relationship and commend the constructive role played by the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat) and the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

35. We welcome the work of the EU-LAC International Foundation, its strengthened role in the context of the bi-regional dialogue and progress in ratifications of the agreement establishing it.

36. We acknowledge the need to better and pro-actively inform our citizens and relevant stakeholders about mutual benefits of the CELAC-EU partnership.

37. We take note of the EU-LAC Forum, and the Business Round Table organised ahead of the Summit.

38. We express concern regarding the continuing deterioration of the public security and humanitarian situation in Haiti and call for continued sub-regional, regional and international efforts to support the process of dialogue between the Government, the various political parties, institutions and other actors of Haitian society, with the aim of drawing up a road map that will allow them to overcome the complex crisis that afflicts them. We call on the international community and organisations to support Haitian-led efforts to find a solution to this crisis, based on the principles of solidarity and international cooperation, with the consent and participation of Haitian authorities.

39. We reaffirm our full support for the peace process of Colombia, as well as the commitment to advance in dialogues with the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas and other armed actors. We further recall our support to the full implementation of the 2016 Peace Agreement, adopted between the Government of Colombia and the FARC – EP.

40. We encourage a constructive dialogue between the parties to the Venezuelan-led negotiations in Mexico City.

41. Recognising our common strategic interest in regular high-level engagement between the EU and CELAC, we agree to hold Summits every two years, the next Summit in the CELAC region in 2025, and meetings of Foreign Affairs Ministers to take forward our shared commitments. We look forward to continuing examining the implementation of the bi-regional roadmap 2023-2025, presented at this Summit. A consultative coordination instance between the EU and CELAC will be set up to ensure continuity and follow-up between high-level meetings, prepare and organise EU-CELAC Meetings of Foreign Affairs Ministers.