Council of Ministers meet takes place in Togo
The meetings of the 107th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers and the 43rd Session of the joint ACP-EU Council of Ministers are being held in Lome, Togo. The events commenced on on 26 May and will conclude on 1 June.
Hon. Tjekero Tweya – Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, who is a Member of the ACP Council of Ministers and also the current Chairperson of the ACP Ministerial Committee on Development Finance, led the Namibian delegation to the above-mentioned meetings.
The Namibian Ambassador to the Benelux Countries, Dr. Prof. Kaire Mbuende and officials from Embassy accompanied him to the meetings.
The current president of the ACP Council of Ministers is Hon. Kamina Johnson-Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica in her opening remarks stressed that, the 107th Council Session is taking place at the opportune time, when the ACP Group is poised to take major decisions regarding its future and its relations with the EU post – 2020.
The main focus of the meeting is to approve the Negotiating Mandate for a new ACP-EU Partnership Agreement post Cotonou.
The Cotonou Partnership Agreement that regulates relations between the ACP States and the European Union will expire in 2020. According to the partnership agreement, ACP and EU are required to start negotiations 18 months prior to the expiry of the agreement.
It is in this context that the ACP has discussed and adopted its negotiating mandate. The mandate is designed to establish a comprehensive partnership between ACP and the EU with focus on three pillars.
Meanwhile the ACP Council meeting will be followed by the 43rd Session of the ACP-EU Joint Ministerial Council to discuss, among other things, preparations towards the commencement of negotiations on an ACP-EU post-Cotonou Partnership Agreement. Discussions will also cover pertinent issues of concern to both partners such as immigration, climate change, domestic resource mobilization, Implementation of the EPAs, European External Investment Plan.
Eralier tis week Namibia chaired the ACP Ministerial Committee on Development Finance Cooperation (DFC), which discussed crucial issues for economic growth and development of ACP countries including domestic resource mobilization.
Similarly, Namibia will Co-Chair the Joint ACP-EU Development Finance Committee meeting to be held on 31 May.
In addition, Namibia is expected to undertake bilateral side meetings with the Republic of Vanuatu, Estonia and Bulgaria to exchange views and strengthen relations.