Addis Ababa, 20 November 2013: More than 200 Members of Parliament from ACP and EU member states will meet in the Ethiopian capital this week to discuss issues of shared concern at the 26th session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly from 25th to 27th November.
Key issues on the agenda for ACP countries include South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation, the rule of law and the role of an impartial and independent judiciary, pastoralism, and the institutional cooperation between the African Union and the European Union, amongst others.
Urgent resolutions are expected on the situation in the Comoros archipelago, including the France-Comoros territorial dispute over Mayotte Island, as well as security issues in the Great Lakes region.
The meeting is aimed at promoting active political dialogue and cooperation between African, Caribbean and Pacific representatives and their counterparts at the European Parliament.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariyam Desalegn and Speaker of Ethiopia’s House of Peoples' Representatives Abadula Gemeda Dago are set to open the main plenary alongside JPA Co-Presidents Joyce Laboso of Kenya and Louis Michel of Belgium. The programme also includes catch-the-eye debates with EU Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, the Presidents-in-Office of the ACP Council of Ministers, as well as the European Council.
Mr Piebalgs will also report on the actions taken by the Commission on previous JPA resolutions.
“The Joint Parliamentary Assembly is one of the most important organs of the ACP-EU partnership that facilitates frank and open discussions between political leaders from ACP and EU member countries. It is a unique tool for cooperation whereby members cover highly relevant and often sensitive issues that affect our people,” stated ACP Secretary General Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni. “Preparatory committee meetings of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly were launched today, before we join our European colleagues for joint deliberations next week.”
Members of parliaments from 78 ACP countries are invited to take part in the dialogue, alongside an equal number of peers from the European side. The Joint Assembly occurs twice annually, with regional sessions also held throughout the year in the ACP regions.
– ACP Press