Brussels, 21 April 2016/ ACP: Discussions on the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, follow up on the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and migration will lead the work programme of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers when it convenes for its 41st session in Dakar, Senegal on 28th to 29th April. Other key items on the agenda will include trade issues, development finance and the EU’s global strategy on foreign and security policy.

The President of Senegal H.E. Mr. Macky Sall will open the event at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Centre, bringing together ministers and key officials from 78 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands, as well as the 28 EU member states.

The ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers is the highest decision-making body of the ACP-EU partnership, and the 41st session will be co-chaired by the Minister of Planning and Integration of the Republic of Congo H.E Leon Raphaël Mokoko and the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, Ms. Lilianne Ploumen.

The ACP-EU partnership has a significant contribution to offer to the global development agenda. Not only does it bring together more than 100 countries in the world in a legally binding partnership based on trade, development cooperation and political dialogue, but it has also made an impact through effective and comprehensive development programmes, as well as valuable collaborations with a wide variety of actors,” stated ACP Secretary General Dr. Patrick I. Gomes.

Discussions will cover a number of topics, including how to align the priorities of the partnership to the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, in order to play an active role in their implementation.

In addition to sustainable development, the Joint Council will exchange views on the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This follows the successful global agreement on climate change in Paris in December 2015, where a joint press statement by the ACP and EU officials calling for an ambitious, inclusive, fair, durable and dynamic commitment, provided a much-needed boost in the negotiations. The Paris Climate Change Agreement is open for signing for one year since 22nd April 2016.

The Joint Council will also address issues related to migration, development finance cooperation, revisions to Annexes II and III of the Cotonou Agreement, trade cooperation (including discussions on the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreement and the outcomes of the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference) and the EU’s Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy.

Finally, the agenda includes a session to discuss the future of ACP-EU relations post-2020, when the current partnership framework is due to close. While formal negotiations for a post-2020 framework are not due to begin until 2018, both ACP and EU sides are deeply engaged in reflections on how a future partnership may be configured, taking into account key global shifts that have taken place since the year 2000, when the Cotonou Partnership Agreement was signed.

The Joint Council meeting will be immediately preceded by a High Level Event which will discuss the legacy of the ACP-EU Partnership, as well as prospects for the future. Under the theme "From Lomé to Cotonou Post-2020: a changing perspective in the ACP-EU relationship", the event represents a first opportunity to jointly discuss the ACP-EU relationship with a twofold approach: retrospective and forward looking.

For more information, contact:

Josephine Latu-Sanft
ACP Press Office
+32 2 743 0617