COMMUNIQUÉ of the ACP Group on the consultations held in Brussels, on 29 March 2011 between the European Union and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement
1.On Tuesday 29 March 2011, consultations were held in Brussels between the Republic of Guinea-Bissau and the European Union, under Article 96 of the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement.
2. The Republic of Guinea-Bissau was represented by a high-level delegation led by Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior. The ACP Group, represented by the Chairman of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors, H.E. Mr. Usman Alhaji Baraya, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the ACP Secretary-General, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, also took part in the consultations. Observers to the consultations included representatives from the African Union, the Community of Portuguese-language Countries (CPLP), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (OIF).
3.The consultations took place in a positive atmosphere. The ACP Group welcomed the firm undertakings given by Guinea-Bissau to pursue Security Sector Reform, notably with support from ECOWAS, the CPLP and other partners; to implement an operational plan to combat drug trafficking; to ensure renewal of the military hierarchy with due regard for the Constitution; conduct and complete judicial investigations and proceedings relating to the assassinations in March and June 2009; improve administrative and financial management of public-sector civilian and military employees; and to set up an effective system to tackle money-laundering and impunity.
4.While immensely gratified by the European Union’s commitment to resume its support for the process of political and economic reform in Guinea-Bissau providing that Guinea-Bissau honours its undertakings, the ACP Group appeals to the EU to give due consideration, in its cooperation with Guinea-Bissau, to the fragility of the peace and reconstruction process in that country, which is only just emerging from an extended period of conflict and political violence.
5.The ACP Group wishes to express its profound gratitude to the “Group of Friends” of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau (South Africa, Angola, Cape Verde, the Gambia, Jamaica, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal and Vanuatu), as well as the representatives of the AU, the CPLP, ECOWAS and the OIF, who provided valuable assistance to Guinea-Bissau during the consultations with the EU under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement.
Done in Brussels, 30 March 2011