Maputo — The Chair of the European Parliament delegation to the Africa-Caribbean-Pacific/European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly (PCA-EU), Carlos Zorrinho, advocates the creation of more jobs for the youth through the Cotonou Agreement as a means to combat terrorism that is ravaging many parts of the world, including the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.
Zorrinho expressed his conviction in Maputo this Monday on the sidelines of the official opening of the 42nd Session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific - European Union (ACP-EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly.
Mozambican Head of State, Filipe Nyusi, presided the opening ceremony.
"The Cotonou Agreement is a cooperation agreement to develop renewable energy, digitalisation and promote job creation. Unemployment and economic difficulties create a fertile ground for the emergence of terrorism, so the agreement will indirectly help to resolve the conflict," said Zorrinho.
The agreement, according to Zorrinho, includes the creation of working partnerships between ACP and EU, with peacekeeping and economic development at the top of agenda.
"This is a development agreement for the creation of a working partnership.
It can create jobs and promote development as a means of combating terrorism," said Zorrinho, adding that "I cannot say, however, that there is a direct link between the Cotonou agreement and the resolution of the situation in Cabo Delgado."
He announced that the EU's support to Mozambique is expected to increase and "it won't just be lethal support. There are many ways to support and deal with the conflict."
In its latest report on Mozambique, the UN Refugee Agency says that close to a million people have fled their homes over the last five years in Cabo Delgado as a result of the violence.
"The European Union has made efforts to help, while respecting the sovereignty of the countries," Zorrinho stressed.
Since July 2021 Mozambican Security and Defence Forces have been working with the support of a military contingent from Rwandan Defence Forces and the Southern African Development Community Military Mission (SAMIM) to fight terrorism in Cabo Delgado.
Asked about the impact of South Africa's withdrawal from the Organisation of African-Caribbean-Pacific States (OEACP), Zorrinho said that "I have taken note that something is being done for South Africa to return to the organisation, but it is up to ACP countries to deal with this issue."