ACP PRESS RELEASE, 15 November 2011: Two urgent topics are on the agenda for the 22nd Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, to be held 19-24 November in Lomé, Togo.

Next weekmembers will decide on urgent motions for resolution regarding the famine situation in the Horn of Africa and the impact of the Arab Spring in the Sahelo-Saharan region.

“The dire famine situationwe are seeing in the Horn of Africa on one hand, and the trends in Sahelo-Saharan Africa following the Arab Spring on the other – both have acute and widespread effects that may impact the future survival and stability of these regions,” said Secretary General of the ACP, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

“These include mostly Least Developed Countries which are alsoatfragile conflict and post-conflict stages. While many have been making good progress towards democratic transitions, they need the strong committed support of the international community to consolidate these processes.”

The extreme drought and resulting food crisis in Somalia seen this year has been the worst in decades, exacerbated further by political volatility. In addition to tens of thousands dead and more than 13 million in need of assistance across Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti, conditions have left populations vulnerable to terrorist groups. Aid agencies are calling for yet more assistance.

Meanwhile, since a series of revolutionary uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East in 2011, now known as the Arab Spring, various political protests have since been witnessed in countries including Burkina Faso, Uganda, Senegal, Benin, Malawi, Kenya, Djibouti, Mauritania, Cameroon, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, and Swaziland. While democratic aspirations are on the rise, there are calls for reform processes that are genuine, secure and well-supported to avoid further instability.

These Urgent Topics will be on the table for discussion on Tuesday and Wednesday, 22 and 23 November. The Joint Parliamentary Assembly sits from 21 – 24 November.

Other topics of discussion on the programme include

  • debt development financing in ACP countries;
  • the impact of the Lisbon treaty on the ACP-EU partnership;
  • democratic governance; multilateral relations and international justice;
  • the inclusion of persons with disabilities in developing countries;
  • access to medicine; and
  • challenges of urban development in ACP cities.

The Joint Parliamentary Assembly is an institution of the ACP-EU partnership and meets twice a year, bringing together Members of Parliaments in 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, and an equal number of parliamentarians from the European Union.

Recommendations made by the Joint Parliamentary Assembly will be tabled at the upcoming ACP Council of Ministers on 7-9 December, and submitted to the European Commission and other agencies. -END-

Download full programme and meeting documents

For more information contact Josephine Latu, Press Attache, +32 2 743 0617 or