Vice President Jessica Alupo has voiced her concerns over the ongoing conflict in Europe with strong calls to the warring parties to explore the possibilities of peace.
The Vice President was speaking at the European Day, a day marked in honor of Mr. Robert Schuman, the then French Foreign Minister, who proclaimed the historic Schuman declaration that would mark the beginning of the long path towards European Unification in 1950.
Alupo said Uganda is concerned about War because “war and conflict anywhere around the World is of serious concern to Uganda as it leads to political, social, economic and humanitarian challenges”.
The Vice President said the European integration process that began with six countries after the Second World War and now has a membership of 27 countries, resonates with Uganda’s principled position in consistently advocating for national, regional and international peace, security and stability as prerequisites for economic growth and development.
She said that the commemoration of such a day presents a reminder of the need to safeguard the democratic values for sustainable peace and development.
Alupo noted the positive collaborations that exist between the Government of Uganda and the EU calling it “vibrant and strong since the mid-1970s, reinforced by the EU – Africa- Caribbean Pacific Partnerships (ACP)”.
“We appreciate the important contribution and support that the EU has continued to extend in our social economic development and transformation agenda.
The Government of Uganda commends the EU for extending their cooperation in areas that are crucial for the development of the country such as infrastructure, energy, agriculture and supporting the Country to address key development challenges”, Alupo remarked.
The European Union Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Jan Sadek, who hosted the event, said Europe Day is not just a day to celebrate the birth of the European Union, but also a day to reflect on values such as peace, democracy, and the rule of law.
He referenced Robert Schuman’s remarks- “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity,” adding thus, “this solidarity has been a cornerstone of European unity and cooperation for more than 70 years” Sadek said.
The Ambassador spoke deeply about the Ukraine-Russia conflict which he referred to as “the Russian aggression war in Ukraine ”.
“Ukraine has our support and the response from the European Union and its Member States has been swift, united, and strong, countering imperialism and colonialism on the Russian side”, he remarked.
On the anti-homosexuality bill, the Ambassador voiced strong concerns, saying there was need for a “frank exchange also about such matters”.
The Bill was recently returned to Parliament after President Museveni’s further guidance to Parliament through the legal affairs committee of Parliament-where he called for its revision.
The EU has since met President Museveni over the same bill.