We have just ended a successful fifth African Union – European Union Summit. Its theme was ‘Youth’, and we heard input from African and European youth representatives, which brought a new energy to our discussions.
As you know, the European Union is Africa’s biggest partner and closest neighbour. Its biggest investor, its biggest trading partner, its biggest provider of development aid and humanitarian assistance as well as its biggest contributor in peace and security. And this summit demonstrated our determination to reinforce our partnership even more.
Strengthening our dialogue on migration enhances our efforts. And it complements what we agreed in Valletta in 2015. Migration has a significant impact on both of our continents. So we have a joint responsibility to acknowledge it as an important part of our relationship, which requires that we act together.
This is especially true when it comes to the situation in Libya with the most cynical abuse of human beings. Let me repeat my call to impose UN sanctions on human smugglers and traffickers. And let me also say that we will not be effective, if we do not ensure that the people caught up in Libya and elsewhere can return safely to their homes.
On the European side, I have again called on my colleagues to live up to their commitment to replenish the EU Trust Fund for Africa. And I am sure that we will make it. In fact, we already did.
Let me conclude by thanking all our African Union partners, especially President Condé and Chairperson Faki, for the excellent cooperation in preparing and during this Summit. And of course President Ouattara and the Ivorian people for their warm hospitality here in Abidjan. And allow me to quote again one of my favourite sayings, an African proverb, which I find particularly fitting for this summit: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Thank you.