Brussels, 10 July 2017/ ACP: The President of the Republic of Cabo Verde H.E Dr. Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca called on all ACP Member States to engage effectively in discussions leading up to the negotiations with the European Union for a new partnership framework after 2020.

During his visit to the ACP House on Monday 10 July to address the ACP Committee of Ambassadors (the first Cape Verdian Head of State to do so), President Fonseca acknowledged the benefits garnered under the 42-year old ongoing partnership between Europe and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, which was founded on mutual democratic values and aimed at poverty eradication and sustianable development.

However, given the new development challenges facing the world today, the partnership strategy needs to change accordingly.

“The considerable progress achieved in the framework of this ACP-EU partnership is recognized by all and therefore undeniable. On the other hand, it is also undeniable that they were not sufficient to ensure a sustainable development. The initial challenges that led to its creation remain the same,” he told Ambassadors.

President Fonseca highlighted a number of issues for the attention of EU and ACP policy makers, including climate change, the Sustainable Development Goals, peace and security, the fight against terrorism and migration. In terms of resource allocation, he urged the international community to pay particular attention to fragile states, such as the Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, welcoming the creation of the ACP Forum for SIDS.

However, he added that in addition to GDP, other variants such as social inequalities, large regional asymmetries and structural vulnerabilities, should be used to classify countries. Continued support for countries which make the effort and succeed in graduating from the Least Developed Country category remains crucial.

As the ACP Group approaches the end of its partnership agreement with Europe, the President stressed the need to project the future in a positive way, as well as the importance of political will to make the necessary changes to the orgnaisation.

“The EU and the ACP Group have already started this reflection [on a future partnership] and what we all want is for it to be shaped on a new basis and on a mutually beneficial relationship of mutual advantage… Negotiations with the EU for a new post-2020 cooperation framework will start by the end of 2018 and I want to believe that the engagement of all Member States in this process is fundamental to the success that is desired by all,” stated President Fonseca.

Successive treaties between ACP countries and the European bloc have been negotiated since 1974, the most recent being the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement signed in 2000 for a 20-year period. The agreement, which covers trade, development cooperation and political dialogue, will be up for renewal at a critical time when new global challenges require consolidated partnerships and innovative approaches, including those housed within the 2030 Agenda for Sustianable Development.

(Photos from top: H.E. Dr. Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca, President of Cabo Verde; The ACP Secretary General H.E. Dr. Patrick Gomes (second from left) welcomes the delgation from Cabo Verde includingMinister of Foreign Affairs of Cabo VerdeLuís Filipe Tavares(left)and the Ambassador of Cabo Verde to the EU H.E.José Filomeno Monteiro (right) accompanying the President; President Fonseca signs ACP guestbook, behind him the ACP Secretary General, Vice Dean of the ACP Ambassadors, H.E. Daniel Evina Abe'e of Cameroon, the Chairman of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors H.E. Teshome Toga Chanama of Ethiopia, and members of the Cape Verdian delegation.)

– ACP Press