Brussels, 30 September 2013/ ACP: The Democratic Republic of Congo has completed the process of ratifying the 2010 revised version of the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement, also known as the Cotonou Agreement.

This makes it the 56th country of the 79-member ACP Group to deposit its ratification instrument. Two thirds of the ACP countries and all the EU member states must ratify the accord before it enters into force.

“We are very pleased to complete this patriotic duty for our country. Through this act of ratification, the DRC can benefit from the 30 billion euro [assistance package of the European Development Fund] which will be a significant support for our programmes in health, infrastructure, and the ‘Revolution of Modernity’ programme initiated by the President,” said DRC’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Tunda Ya Kasende at the ACP House in Brussels today.

He said the reform programmes focused on good governance and improvement of security services.

“The ACP Group works in solidarity with all our member states towards the ratification of the 2nd revision of the Cotonou Agreement and its entry into full effect. The progress we are making is an indication of the commitment to the partnership, including the occasion today, which also shows the DRC’s commitment to the ACP Group,” stated Acting ACP Secretary General Paulo Kautoke.

So far, 20 EU countries have ratified the agreement, with 7 to go.

The Cotonou Agreement contains the overarching framework outlining the details of cooperation for development assistance, trade and political dialogue between the African, Caribbean and Pacific member states of the ACP Group and the European Union.

(Photo: Acting Secretary General Paulo Kautoke receives copy of ratification act from DRC Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Tunda Ya Kasende)

– ACP Press