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S&Ds call on Orbán: stop holding the Post-Cotonou Agreement hostage. ACP-EU deserves to take a leap forward

Date

02 Nov 2022

Sections

Global Europe

The 42nd Joint Parliamentary Assembly among the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and the EU (ACP-EU JPA) has come to an end in Maputo, Mozambique, after three days of intense work. This Assembly has raised animated debates and put forward possible common solutions to face global crises like climate change, pandemics, terrorism, poverty and human rights.

The S&D Group’s delegation made sure that the Assembly tackled the challenges ahead with a progressive approach centred on human rights, democracy, rule of law and due diligence - the obligation for companies to respect human and environmental rights wherever they operate - despite the attempts of the far-right, who were present en masse in Maputo, to water down and block any possible step forward.

The 42nd session of the JPA will be remembered for the widespread call on Orbán’s government to finally lift the veto on the approval of the post-Cotonou ACP-EU agreement, the need for African countries to become independent from the external shocks in their food production, and the strong appeal to the leaders of the upcoming COP27 to be bold and take resolute decisions against climate change.

The S&D delegation in Maputo was composed of ACP-EU co-president Carlos Zorrinho, ACP-EU vice-presidents, Maria Arena and Eric Andrieu, S&D coordinator Hannes Heide, and S&D MEPs Alex Agius Saliba, Nikos Androulakis, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Maria Manuel Leitão Marques, Maria Noichl, Pedro Silva Pereira and Karsten Lucke.

The co-chair of the ACP-EU JPA and S&D MEP, Carlos Zorrinho, said:

“Among Europe, African, Caribbean and Pacific countries there are sometimes different views, different approaches, and different interests on how to face global challenges. However, once again, at the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly emerged the shared awareness that only a global cooperation can cope with global crises. We have been trying to make a further step forward to build common trust and take common actions to fight together against climate change, food insecurity pandemics, terrorism, poverty, and respect of human rights.

“Multilateralism among equals is the only concrete way forward in these dark times where nationalism, war and mistrust on the international scene seem to prevail. The ACP-EU JPA stands as a lighthouse that must be preserved and strengthened. It’s time Orbán’s government lifts its veto and gives way to the possibility for this crucial Assembly to develop further.”

S&D coordinator for the ACP-EU JPA, Hannes Heide, added:

“The EU’s interests coincide with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries ones. We have to realise that the democratic and economic development of these regions’ security is in the direct interest of the European Union.

“African countries are highly dependent on wheat, cereals, fertilisers and cooking oil imports. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has massively aggravated the situation showing the need for direct European support on sustainable development, but also on debt relief and the fight against terrorism.

“The question of food security in Africa in fact goes hand in hand with security and respect of human rights. Many countries, especially in the Sub-Saharan region, have been confronted with terrorist attacks and displaced people for years. The EU must gear up its efforts to ensure peace and stability through military training missions, human rights and due diligence enforcement as preconditions for development.

“Unlike the far-right, we cannot accept that the relationship between the ACP countries and the EU is reduced on the migration issue. The Post Cotonou-Agreement must therefore be ratified as soon as possible or we will commit an historic mistake, which we will certainly pay for in the near future.”

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