Sommaire: 18 August 2010, Brussels - Statement by Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/European Commission following her call with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
"Today, I spoke by telephone with United Nations' Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ahead of Thursday's special General Assembly meeting in New York on Pakistan and expressed the EU's readiness to support UN efforts in the wake of the recent floods there.
I informed Mr Ban that Belgian Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere will deliver a message of support on behalf of the EU at the UNGA on Thursday, expressing our solidarity with and our sincere condolences to the Government and the people of Pakistan following the tragic loss of life in the monsoon floods.
I told Mr Ban that I would have represented the European Union myself in this meeting but for the fact that the appropriate speaking rights are not yet in place and expressed my wish that this hurdle can be overcome as soon as possible.
I highlighted the EU's role so far in the global response to this crisis and I was delighted to inform him of EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Georgieva's initiative today to increase our humanitarian assistance to Pakistan by EUR 30 million, to reach 105 EUR million, or the equivalent of USD 135 million.
I stressed that the EU will continue to support this work as long as support is needed. I told him we are in this for the long term. The European Union will work with Pakistan to mitigate the impact of this disaster on Pakistan's economy and social development.
The international community needs to be ready to support Pakistan in a lasting manner: this will be a significant element for the long-term recovery. A safe, secure, stable and prosperous Pakistan is in the interests of the EU and the wider international community as a whole.
It is with this in mind that I informed Mr Ban that Pakistan will be an important theme of the next Gymnich meeting of the EU High Representative and EU Foreign Affairs Ministers at the beginning of September. I am also looking forward to hosting the Friends of Democratic Pakistan ministerial meeting in October in Brussels, a meeting that will be able to take stock of relief efforts and plan and coordinate rebuilding in Pakistan."