St. Julian's, Malta, 21 June 2017/ EP/ ACP-EU JPA: MEPs and ACP members called for common causes behind terrorism, famine and impunity to be tackled: poverty, bad governance, corruption and armed conflict.
During 33rd session of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and European Union (EU) Member States, members debated impunity on crimes against humanity with Sidiki Kaba, President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC.
Sidiki Kaba recalled the importance of judging crimes against humanity to allow victims to be heard, and for the guilty, whomever they may be, to be sanctioned and to prevent such atrocities.
“The Court brings complementary justice, a final recourse. What is essential is that justice functions well within states”, he stated. To do this, we need to strengthen independent judicial systems around the world. The aim is still universal justice for crimes that “hurt the universal conscience”.
The MEPs and ACP members also heard from Commissioner Stylianides on the imminent risk of the most severe famine and humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. This “ entirely man-made “ crisis is the result of conflicts, poor governance and poverty. The EU provided massive humanitarian aid in 2016 and 2017 (1.37 billion euros), but needs are immense and root causes need to be addressed. Strengthening the “resilience of the population is key”.
“We must act now, together, to find solutions. This is our moral duty”, underlined the Commissioner.
The Assembly also adopted a declaration recalling the importance of the full commitments of the COP21 Paris agreement. Concerted global action is necessary to prevent the negative impact of climate change, in particular, to address the challenges faced by the most vulnerable countries.
An emergency resolution calling for a coherent, robust strategy to address the security situation in the Sahel and Chad Basin region was adopted by members. They favour a holistic approach including tackling the roots of instability and migration: armed conflicts, poverty, bad governance, climate change, human rights abuses, and inequalities. Regional cooperation is key to resolving the crisis, said members, underlining that the civilian population needs to be protected.
ACP and EU Members could not find common ground for a resolution on the deteriorating situation in Burundi. The resolution tabled by the EP Members was rejected.
Three reports were approved at the voting session on Wednesday afternoon on the following topics:
The financing of political parties in ACP and EU countries should allow all to be heard as part of the political process, said members. The Assembly invites governments to put in place rules on financing of political parties, including independent and efficient control mechanisms. Foreign donations and companies should be restricted in order to avoid interference in political decisions.
Members called for improving aid and development effectiveness in EU-ACP cooperation based on different needs, with the aim of beneficiaries being independent and self-sufficient. The effectiveness depends on lenders and their coordination, but also on the existence of effective institutions, good governance measures and the fight against corruption, they said.
Sport can be an enabler for education and poverty eradication, said JPA members. A powerful social tool, it brings together different ethnicities, cultures, religions, socio-economic backgrounds and languages. It can support training, innovation, ending violence, social integration including for women, children, older people and the disabled. The members called on the EU to promote the use of sport in development policy.
Next ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly
The 34th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly will take place from 18 to 20 December 2017 in an ACP country.
(Photo: Participants at the opening of the 33rd session of the ACP-EU Joitn Parliamentary Assembly in St.Julian's, Malta)
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