St. Julian's, Malta, 19 June 2017/ACP-EU JPA/EP: “Democracy is the best way to reach sustainable development”, said co-president Louis Michel of ACP-EU JPA during the opening of the 33rd session in Malta on Monday.
The 33rd session of the joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), bringing together states in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) and the European Union (EU) was opened on Monday in Saint Julian’s (Malta) by Malta President Marie-Louise Coleiro, accompanied by House of Representatives Speaker Angelo Farrugia.
During the opening ceremony, Memounatou Ibrahima (Togo), acting co-president of the JPA for the ACP countries, underlined the importance of the Joint Assembly, which provides ACP and EU legislators with a framework for open, democratic and in-depth dialogue on the implementation of the Cotonou agreement. She recalled the importance of ensuring that multilateral governance embodies the values, rules, institutions’ through which “the public and organisations strive to work towards common objectives […] to the benefit of the people who should be at the heart of all human endeavours”.
Louis Michel (ALDE, BE), co-president of the JPA for the EU, said: “Negotiation on a new ACP-EU agreement is an opportunity not to be missed to change the paradigm in the relations between the EU and African states”, he added. “We need a strong and binding political agreement between equal partners in rights and responsibilities. This means working towards a modern, strengthened, more political partnership, which focuses on our common interests”, he added.
“Only collective action can lead to decisive results against terrorism”
The members will discuss and vote on an urgent resolution on the security situation in the Sub-Saharan region (debate Tuesday, vote Wednesday).
“Terrorism is a global phenomenon which needs to be managed on a global scale” said Memounatou Ibrahima. “We will only attain peace and stability in the region if we tackle the true causes of terrorism. Only a global approach centred on development, rule of law, security and respect of human rights will leave room for progress on the path to stability”, added Louis Michel.
The second urgent resolution is on the situation in Burundi (debate Tuesday, vote Wednesday). “As part of the international community, we have the moral obligation to take urgent measures to protect the people of Burundi”, said Louis Michel.
Impunity for crimes against humanity
At a time when several countries are considering withdrawing from the International Criminal Court (ICC), MEPs and their ACP partners will hold their main debate on the question of impunity for crimes against humanity on the afternoon of Tuesday 20 June with Sidiki Kaba, President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC.
Significant risk of famine
The parliamentarians will also discuss the risk of the emergence of the most severe famine and humanitarian crisis in history with Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Commissioner Christos Stylianides on the morning of Tuesday 20 June. More than 20 million people in four African countries – South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen – are facing starvation and famine.
Quick facts
The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly brings together MEPs and MPs from 78 EU and African, Carribean and Pacific states that have signed the Cotonou Agreement, which is the basis for ACP- EU cooperation and development work.
Follow the session through EP Foreign Affairs committee Twitter account
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