The IX Ordinary Meeting of the Board of Governors of the EU-LAC International Foundation was held on 24 November 2023 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. During this second meeting of 2023, the Board of Governors reviewed the activities results and functioning of the Foundation's and decided upon its work programme for 2024.
The meeting was attended by 30 delegations from the Foundation's Member States. It was co-chaired by the co-Presidencies of the Foundation: Jinelle Adams, Special Envoy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, that currently holds the Pro Tempore Presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC); and on behalf of the European Union, Claudia Gintersdorfer, Head of the Americas Regional Division of the European External Action Service.
Ambassador Renata Cvelbar Bek, Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovenia, welcomed the Board of Governors, and underlined Slovenia's strong commitment to working with the EU-LAC Foundation and its Latin American and Caribbean partners. She highlighted the importance of close cooperation and dialogue in areas such as digital transformation, climate change and water management, amongst others.
Co-chair Jinelle Adams noted that one of the main decisions taken before becoming temporary President of CELAC was to ratify the agreement establishing the EU-LAC Foundation as an international organisation and she commended the Foundation in promoting the active participation of civil society. Co-chair Claudia Gintersdorfer, said that for Europe, distance is no obstacle to having a special relationship with LAC and highlighted this year as a very fruitful one for EU-LAC relations, including the III EU-CELAC Summit and the development of the Global Gateway.
On behalf of the Foundation President Leire Pajín stressed that the III EU-CELAC Summit reiterated the commitment to further strengthen bi-regional relations in a complex global context and was a new start in the biregional agenda. Executive Director Adrian Bonilla noted that the Foundation's activities have multiplied and mentioned some of the forums organised in 2023 on areas such as gender equality, just transitions and knowledge.
In 2023, the Foundation's initiatives were strategically aligned with the key themes of multilateralism and bi-regional cooperation, gender, knowledge and just transitions. This deliberate thematic areas reflect the Foundation's commitment to addressing the diverse needs of its member states and of the strategic relationship.
We thank our co-chairs, the European External Action Service (EEAS), the Pro Tempore Presidency of CELAC, and the delegations that participated in meeting of the Board of Governors, as well as the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Slovenia, member state where the meeting took place.