Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statements, following his meeting with Hungarian Foreign Minister, Péter Szijjártó (Athens, 01.10.2021)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statements, following his meeting with Hungarian Foreign Minister, Péter Szijjártó (Athens, 01.10.2021)Peter, good afternoon and welcome to Athens.

I am glad to welcome you again to Athens. It is my great pleasure. One year has passed since your last visit and tomorrow marks one year since my visit to you, in Budapest, and of course, we have met several times in various multilateral contexts, in the European Union, in NATO, in New York.

Today, however, we had the opportunity to discuss relations between our two countries. First of all, on behalf of the Mitsotakis government, I would like to thank Hungary for your prompt response to our request for assistance in dealing with the large forest fires of last summer.

Thank you very much.

I would also like to thank you for your decision to support our candidacy for a seat in the UN Security Council for the 2025-26 term. This is something extremely important for Greece.

And I would also like to tell you publicly that Greece will support Mr Korosi’s candidacy for the Presidency of the 77th General Assembly of the United Nations next year.

It is also my great pleasure that today we signed the Memorandum of Understanding, common understanding, in the field of Diplomatic Training, and for the fact that we concluded it very quickly, just four months after we started the discussions.

This indicates the level of our relations.

Starting with cooperation in the fields of economy, trade and investment that we discussed before, there is an upward trend in our bilateral trade, a significant upward trend despite the pandemic and this is something extremely encouraging. And there are great prospects for investment.

That is why we welcome the organization of the Greek-Hungarian Business Forum and the intention to open an office of the Hungarian Export Promotion Agency in Greece in the near future.

I am very pleased that you brought Hungarian businessmen with you. I think this is something very important. We need to link our foreign policy with the strengthening of our economic relations.

And of course I would like to thank you, we are very happy that our country is one of the most popular destinations for Hungarian tourists.

At the bilateral level, allow me to make a reference to the Greek community, which is represented in the Hungarian Parliament. For us this is also something that connects the two countries.

We also examined two issues that trouble the European Union. First, the refugee/migration issue, especially under the pressure of very worrying developments in Afghanistan. I explained to my colleague that Greece will not accept any attempt to instrumentalize migration.

And I also take the opportunity, here, to once again call on Turkey to respect the obligations deriving from the EU-Turkey Joint Statement concerning the migration issue.
Moreover, we have agreed that the European Union should intensify its efforts to protect the Union’s external borders.

It is also my pleasure to thank Hungary again for its participation in the Frontex force deployed at the Greek borders. Greek borders are European borders. Thank you so much for acknowledging it.

We also talked about the EU accession perspective of the Western Balkans. I had the opportunity to say to Peter something I believe he also agrees upon, that the European perspective of the Western Balkans is a top priority for Greek diplomacy, because we believe that this is the way to consolidate stability and security in the region.

And also, in this way, destabilizing elements or extremist ideologies promoted by third countries with other, non-European, intentions will not be allowed to interfere.

We discussed extensively on the protection of Christian populations and Christian monuments in areas of the wider Middle East, which are under constant threat.

I told Peter about our support to the Eastern Patriarchates of the original Pentarchy and the Christian Orthodox populations in the Middle East, but also in Africa, and about the need to protect the monuments in the region. In fact, we discussed and I believe we will very easily agree with Hellenic AID upon a joint effort to restore a church.

I also raised issues regarding the protection of monuments such as Hagia Sophia and the Monastery of Chora that are endangered by unilateral actions that in this case are in breach of Turkey’s fundamental commitments to UNESCO, but not only to UNESCO.

I would like to say that we will continue the discussion with my Hungarian colleague and I will inform him in more detail about our relations with Turkey. I will brief him on the next round of exploratory talks.

As already announced, they will take place in Ankara next week. I clearly state that despite Turkish provocations Greece will come to the talks in a constructive spirit, as always.

At these informal contacts the issue of the delimitation of the continental shelf in the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean will be examined, always on the basis of international law and the international law of the sea.

Of course I would like to be frank with you; our country harbors no great hopes. But who knows, reality may prove us wrong in a pleasant way.

I also briefed Peter in detail on our recent agreement with France, an agreement that advances European defence and is compatible with our commitments to NATO, a fact the American side has acknowledged.

Greece is always operating on the basis of its contractual obligations as opposed to some other allies which undermine NATO cohesion.

I did not fail to explain to my colleague that our agreement with France is a purely defensive agreement. It is not directed against anyone.

Besides, I had signed a similar agreement with the United Arab Emirates, about a year ago. Given the defense priorities of these agreements, I would like to say that Turkish allegations are entirely unacceptable.

If Turkey is frustrated by these agreements, this can only mean that it perceives itself as a potential aggressor.

Again, it is a great pleasure for me to receive Peter in Athens.

I welcome him and wish him a pleasant stay.

Thank you so much.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ congratulatory letter to his Cypriot counterpart, Nikos Christodoulides on the 61st anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Cyprus

Dear Nikos,

I would like to warmly congratulate you on the 61st anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Cyprus.

Cyprus, a member state of the United Nations and the European Union, despite the ongoing illegal Turkish occupation of over one third of its territory, continues to remain firmly on the trajectory of the most developed societies, to maintain and strengthen the excellent relations it has built with most countries in the wider region, both bilaterally and in the framework of our common multilateral regional partnerships.

On this occasion, I would like to praise the Republic of Cyprus for its commitment to reach a mutually acceptable and comprehensive, just, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus issue, based on the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and the European acquis. A commitment which, I am sure, does not bend under the ongoing Turkish efforts to impose new fait accomplis in Varosha and the Cypriot maritime zones, but also by Turkey’s insistence on its completely unacceptable demands for a so-called “solution” of two separate states or a confederation.

I would also like to assure you that Greece will continue to firmly support the Republic of Cyprus in its efforts to resume negotiations so as to reach a mutually acceptable and comprehensive solution of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, with single sovereignty, single international personality and single citizenship as provided for in the binding for all UN Security Council Resolutions. A solution that will ensure the rights of all Cypriot citizens, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, through the application of the European acquis throughout Cyprus. A solution that will fulfil the vision of the Cypriot people to live in a reunited Republic of Cyprus, free from the occupying troops and the anachronistic system of guarantees and third-country intervention rights.

Dear Nikos, the continuous cooperation and the close coordination between Greece and Cyprus constitute the best guarantee for the achievement of our common goal.

Des partenaires mondiaux rejoignent l’initiative d’inclusion numérique TECH4ALL de Huawei

SHENZHEN, Chine, 1er octobre 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Lors du sommet Huawei TECH4ALL, Huawei a appelé ses partenaires mondiaux à rejoindre l’initiative d’inclusion numérique TECH4ALL, qui vise à construire un monde plus inclusif et intelligent qui ne laisse personne de côté.

L’initiative TECH4ALL de Huawei se concentre sur quatre domaines : favoriser l’équité et la qualité dans l’éducation, préserver la nature grâce à la technologie, favoriser l’inclusion et l’accessibilité dans le domaine de la santé et utiliser les TIC pour stimuler le développement rural. Il se concentre sur les technologies numériques, l’activation des applications, et les compétences numériques, et travaille avec des partenaires mondiaux pour promouvoir et développer l’inclusion numérique afin d’aider à atteindre les objectifs de développement durable (ODD) des Nations Unies.

À l’heure actuelle, plus de 60 000 enseignants et étudiants bénéficient des projets TECH4ALL dans plus de 200 écoles à travers le monde. Les technologies numériques ont été déployées pour améliorer la gestion des ressources et l’efficacité de la conservation de la biodiversité dans 22 réserves naturelles à travers le monde. Les smartphones Huawei offrent 15 fonctionnalités d’accessibilité et sont utilisés par environ 10 millions d’utilisateurs chaque mois. La solution RuralStar de Huawei fournit des services Internet mobiles pour plus de 60 pays et régions, couvrant plus de 50 millions de personnes dans des zones reculées.

L’inclusion et l’équité ont été des points de discussion majeurs du sommet dans le domaine de l’éducation. Dans son allocution d’ouverture, Stefania Giannini, sous-directrice générale pour l’éducation à l’UNESCO, a évoqué les écoles ouvertes axées sur la technologie, un programme de partenariat de trois ans avec Huawei qui se déploie en Éthiopie, en Égypte et au Ghana.

« L’UNESCO et Huawei ont lancé conjointement ce projet en juillet 2020 », a déclaré Stefania Giannini. « Le projet explore les futurs modèles de scolarisation, contribuant ainsi à l’initiative mondiale de l’UNESCO sur l’avenir de l’éducation. »

Pour construire un système d’écoles ouvertes plus résistant aux crises, tous les pays doivent tenir compte des trois piliers de la nouvelle infrastructure d’un système d’apprentissage : la technologie, le contenu numérique et les compétences numériques des enseignants et des facilitateurs humains. Le Dr. Fengchun Miao, chef de l’Unité de la technologie et de l’intelligence artificielle dans l’éducation, de l’UNESCO, a examiné comment tirer parti de la puissance de la technologie dans le domaine de l’éducation.

La Fondation Vodafone a discuté de son programme Instant Network Schools, qui vise à apporter une éducation de haute qualité aux réfugiés et aux communautés d’accueil, avec des plans pour connecter 500 000 élèves réfugiés et leurs communautés d’ici 2025. Huawei est l’un des partenaires de l’expansion de la connectivité à davantage d’écoles en Afrique.

Oisín Walton, responsable du programme Vodafone Instant Network Schools, a déclaré : « Nous pensons que chaque garçon et chaque fille devrait avoir accès à une éducation de qualité, où qu’ils se trouvent et quelle que soit leur nationalité. »

Bram Over, responsable du programme DigiTruck de Close the Gap, a fait le point sur le programme DigiTruck. Les DigiTrucks sont des salles de classe mobiles vertes alimentées à l’énergie solaire converties à partir de conteneurs d’expédition. Ils sont équipés d’appareils TIC recyclés et dispensent une formation aux jeunes aux compétences numériques. Huawei a soutenu ce programme au Kenya et en France. Plus tard cette année, Huawei et Close the Gap mettront en place le projet en Éthiopie.

Ling Hui de la YouChange China Social Entrepreneur Foundation a présenté le programme Green Pepper pour les jeunes enseignants dans les villages ruraux de Chine. Le programme offre une année de formation en ligne aux enseignants et a touché près de 80 000 jeunes enseignants ruraux et 17 000 écoles jusqu’à présent.

Dans son discours d’ouverture présentant la piste de l’environnement, la Directrice générale de l’UICN, le Dr Grethel Aguilar, a abordé une série de questions environnementales, soulignant que la technologie peut être utilisée pour atténuer l’impact croissant de l’humanité sur la planète.

Le Dr Aguilar a déclaré : « La technologie numérique peut être une partie importante de la solution et nous aider à résoudre les défis mondiaux si elle est utilisée correctement et intelligemment. »

En tant qu’animateur de la table ronde, le directeur associé du Programme des aires protégées de l’UICN, James Hardcastle, a souligné que nous devons donner à davantage de personnes les moyens d’utiliser les technologies pour la conservation de la nature et a fait référence à l’initiative Tech4Nature, un partenariat UICN-Huawei qui vise à développer des technologies spécifiques à des scénarios pour sauvegarder les écosystèmes naturels dans 300 sites protégés d’ici 2023.

Actuellement, le projet se déroule en Thaïlande, en Espagne, sur l’île Maurice, en Suisse et en Chine. Le président d’Ecomode, Nadeem Nazurally, a développé le projet sur l’île Maurice, qui vise à protéger et à restaurer le récif corallien de la nation insulaire africaine qui disparaît rapidement en utilisant une surveillance vidéo en temps réel alimentée par l’IA, qui peut être transmise à des experts, locaux et mondiaux.

Poursuivant sur la voie environnementale, Chrissy Durkin, directrice de l’expansion internationale de Rainforest Connection, a présenté le système Nature Guardian, qui utilise des technologies acoustiques pour surveiller les espèces menacées et alerter les gardes forestiers des menaces telles que l’exploitation forestière illégale et les coups de feu. Bernardo Reyes Ortíz, président de Forest Ethics au Chili, a expliqué comment la plate-forme Guardian soutenue par le cloud Huawei fournit une bouée de sauvetage au renard de Darwin en voie de disparition, dont moins de 1 000 existeraient.

Les technologies de surveillance intelligentes et en réseau sont un outil crucial pour la conservation de la nature. Le Dr Steph Wray, président de la Mammal Society au Royaume-Uni, explique comment des solutions acoustiques ont été déployées en Angleterre pour protéger l’écureuil roux de plus en plus rare, qui est menacé par l’écureuil gris envahissant et beaucoup plus peuplé.

Tang Yanfei, directeur exécutif de l’Institut de recherche du parc national de Hainan, a expliqué comment la surveillance acoustique est essentielle pour améliorer la conservation du gibbon de Hainan en danger critique d’extinction, en vue de doubler sa population en 15 ans.

Les partenariats sont le carburant qui alimente le progrès dans les domaines de l’environnement et de l’éducation de TECH4ALL, ainsi que dans les deux autres domaines de l’initiative : la santé et le développement.

« Si vous voulez marcher vite, marchez seul. Si vous voulez marcher loin, marchez ensemble », a déclaré Tao Jingwen dans son discours d’ouverture « Nous pensons que davantage de partenaires travailleront avec nous pour faire progresser le plan d’action TECH4ALL à l’avenir. Rejoignez-nous pour un monde plus inclusif et intelligent où personne n’est laissé pour compte. »

Regardez l’enregistrement complet du sommet à l’adresse

En savoir plus sur les projets et les histoires TECH4ALL

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ address at the 4th Pan-Hellenic Conference on Digital Cultural Heritage (30.09.2021)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The protection and promotion of our cultural heritage is of significant importance for our country.

This Heritage is to be found not only within our borders, but also outside. The monuments of Greek culture are scattered across various countries; in the Mediterranean, in the Middle East, but also in the depths of Asia.

Whether we are talking about Ancient Greek, Byzantine, or modern monuments, it is the obligation of all states in which they are located to respect and promote them.

Unfortunately, this heritage is under constant threat.

It is endangered by extremist elements, such as the Taliban, who have not hesitated in the past to destroy world cultural heritage monuments.

And, of course, by countries such as Turkey, which, in breach of fundamental UNESCO rules, has converted monuments such as Hagia Sophia and the Monastery of Chora into mosques.

Our goal today is to make every effort possible for the protection of this cultural heritage.

In this context, we have taken action on various International Organizations, starting from UNESCO.

At the same time, we raise this issue at both bilateral and multilateral levels. The issue of Hagia Sophia and the Monastery of Chora is on the agenda of all our contacts.

In parallel with these actions, which continue unabated, we have the obligation to showcase our cultural heritage by promoting it to as large an audience as possible.

In this context, digital technology is a vehicle for this effort.

Through digitization, cultural heritage is transformed into a lasting asset, accessible to every corner of the world. Digitization is also a valuable tool for enhancing historical knowledge, as well as science.

For these reasons, UNESCO has issued guidelines for the application of principles and rules in the digital environment.

It has placed special emphasis on respect for the intellectual property of cultural goods and services.

It has also underlined the promotion of culture as a pillar for sustainable development.

It is, therefore, necessary for, and at the same time beneficial to Greece to fully and dynamically enter the era of “digital culture”.

Responding to the new reality, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs demonstrated from the very beginning its readiness to take advantage of the possibilities created by the new means of digitization.

Especially during the difficult times of the pandemic, technology became a tool in order to maintain active the interest of the international public opinion for Greek culture, for example, by organizing numerous online events.

This effort must continue unabated, in every direction.

For this reason, I welcome the organization of the 4th Pan-Hellenic Conference on Digital Cultural Heritage.

I am certain that the exchange of views and the promotion of actions will contribute to making Greece a reference point in this field.

Thank you.

Statement regarding the arrival in Greece, from Afghanistan, via Tbilisi, of 26 women judges and lawyers as well as their family members

Twenty-six women judges and lawyers, accompanied by their family members, arrived in Athens last night via Tbilisi.

Their arrival and stay in Greece are being closely coordinated by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Migration and Asylum.

The aforementioned women from Afghanistan, as well as their family members, will be hosted in Greece until the process for their transfer and settlement in other Western countries that have expressed their willingness to accept them is completed.