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Next Indo-EU summit scheduled for the end of 2015

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Brussels: The next summit between the European Union and India, is expected to be held by the end of this year, probably in November, after a gap of nearly three years, according to EU and Indian officials.

Manjeev Singh Puri , Ambassador of India to the EU, Belgium and Luxembourg, speaking at an event on EU-India ties in Brussels on Tuesday, said “we hope we will be able to put together the big event that we believe can kickstart at the highest political level before the year is over.”

“There are conversations going on that. Politics has an important role to play. It has a leadership thrust ability, it has the ability to push things forward,” he noted.

“But I believe, that business, on the other hand is that engine which results in political leaders, and everyone else looking to move things forward,” he stated.

The speaker of the Lok Sabha, Sumitra Mahajan, will be leading a large parliamentary delegation to Brussels next week, to strengthen bilateral parliamentary ties, announced Puri.

On his part, Zoran Stancic, European Commission Deputy Director-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology , said he “fully agrees that the long due summit, which hopefully we will have this year could be a good opportunity where our political masters get together.”

The event titled ‘Europe, India and Modi – One year on’ was organised by a Brussels-based think tank, Friends of Europe, in association with Europe India Chamber of Commerce and Tata Consultancy Services.

The moderator of the event, Shada Islam, Director of Policy at Friends of Europe, lauded the Indian prime minister saying “Modi has been shaking up India, and shaking up the world perception of India.”

“It is high time that the EU and India get their relationship to a new start. The sooner we get the deal on a free trade agreement, the better,” she said.

Speakers also addressed the issue of boosting the EU-India trade and investment flows, which are still at a modest 72.5 billion and 5 billion euro respectively.

Another topic raised was- how to overcome the present stalemate in negotiations on an EU-India Free Trade Agreement.

Other speakers at the event included Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services, Shishir Bajoria, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party and head of the Bajoria Group of Industries and Luisa Santos, Director for International Relations at the think tank BusinessEurope. (IANS)

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European Union (EU) Takes Lead in Campaign to Prevent Gender-based Violence during Humanitarian Crises

Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world

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Violence against women and girls
A South Sudanese refugee and 32-year-old mother, who was raped for several days by a group of soldiers before she was allowed to leave, stands by a window at a women's center. VOA
  • Violence during times of war and natural disasters also affects men and boys
  • The EU says its mission is to strengthen awareness and encourage the humanitarian community to take stronger action to protect women, men, girls and boys in crisis zones
  • Monique Pariat, director-general for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, says more must be done to prevent gender-based violence from occurring in humanitarian emergencies

Geneva, June 21, 2017: The European Union is assuming the leadership of a global initiative to prevent gender-based violence during humanitarian crises.

Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world. The United Nations and many human rights organizations have documented tens of thousands of cases of rape, sexual abuse and exploitation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina and other places of conflict.

Violence during times of war and natural disasters also affects men and boys. So, the European Union’s Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence is inclusive of both sexes and all ages.

ALSO READ: June 19 is International Day for Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict 2017: Why Women in India are Victims of Sexual Abuse?

The EU says its mission is to strengthen awareness and encourage the humanitarian community to take stronger action to protect women, men, girls and boys in crisis zones.

Monique Pariat, director-general for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, says more must be done to prevent gender-based violence from occurring in humanitarian emergencies. She says many simple measures can be taken to mitigate violence.

“For instance, to have separate and properly illuminated toilets and washing facilities in camps. Safe access to water and food distribution points. Safe access to hospitals. That can have a very significant impact in preventing and reducing gender-based violence. We can do more also on the education to armed groups, to armies. There are a lot of activities we can promote that will reduce the risk and occurrence of these atrocities.”

Pariat says it is crucial to bring the Call to Action program to the field, adding it is there that these life-saving measures can have the biggest impact. Pariat also says preventive actions must be taken at the earliest onset of an emergency where victims and survivors are at greatest risk. (VOA)

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