31 October 2018

Africa: Transforming Economies - Post-Cotonou Negotiations On Course

The formal opening took place in New York on September 28, 2018 on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.

The first round of Joint Technical Negotiations bringing together Senior officials of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP) on the one hand and the European Union (EU) on the other hand kicked off on Thursday 18 October, 2018 in the ACP House, in Brussels, Belgium. These Negotiations are in a bid to come out with a Post-Cotonou Agreement.

The present Cotonou Agreement governing the ACP-EU relations which unites more than 120 countries with a population above one and a half billion people expires in 2020. It is worth noting that the ACP-EU Legal Partnership is a unique Comprehensive Treaty of cooperation partnership between the 79 ACP Group and the EU.

According to the ACP Group Chief Negotiator for the Post Cotonou Negotiations, Prof. Robert Dussey, who is also Togo's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, "The ACP-EU Partnership has deepened and widened over more than four decades. In a press briefing ahead of the opening of Negotiations, Pr. Dusssey stated that "The successive Lome conventions and Cotonou Partnership Agreement have been important instruments in support of the efforts of the ACP states to meet as they have sought to secure and mention people centered developments. The chief Negotiator further disclosed that the Negotiations for a Post Cotonou Partnership Agreement will be taking place in a rapidly evolving Technological Age. Here the ACP States will be seeking to secure a modern, responsive and fit-for purpose agreement which in the end will contribute to the acceleration of the transformation of economies.

Furthermore, Pr. Dussey told the Press that the expiry of the current Cotonou Partnership Agreement in 2020 provides a unique opportunity for the ACP Group to advocate for a partnership that will help both the ACP and the EU to redefine their approaches in dealing with the National, Regional and Continental issues. This will in the long run contribute collectively to a stable and progressive international environment that will leave no one behind.

The Chief Negotiator went ahead to point out that "The ACP Group has sought to ensure the objective of the Agreement will be to contribute to the attainment of sustainable development in all its member countries. This has been achieved through a strengthened and deepened political and economic partnership with the ACP Group being a more effective Global player.

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