The Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Samoa, Hon. Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi is confirmed to preside over the 98th session of the Council of Ministers for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group. The meeting, scheduled for the 9th till 11th of December 2013, will bring together officials from the 79 member states in Brussels to deliberate and take decisions on policies for the Group. The Council of Ministers is the organisation’s highest decision-making body under the Summit of Heads of State.
The Bali Ministerial Conference of the (World Trade Organization) concluded a day later than scheduled on 7 December 2013 with agreement on a package of issues designed to streamline trade, allow developing countries more options for providing food security, boost least developed countries’ trade and help development more generally. In addition to the Bali Package, ministers formally adopted a number of more routine decisions at the end of a five-day meeting opened by Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, which also saw Yemen accepted as a new member.
European Union (EU) diplomats and the Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) approved, on 8 November, the proposal delay the sale of 900 million tonnes of carbon permits until later this decade in order to prop up carbon prices in the bloc's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) under the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS). They gave the Lithuanian Presidency a mandate to negotiate with the European Parliament, just days after Berlin confirmed its support for the measure on 4 November.
The European Commission on Thursday suspended imports of citrus fruits from South Africa -- which accounts for about a third the EU's total -- on concerns 'black spot' disease could infect local crops. Experts from the European Union's 28 member states agreed on the emergency ban after it was found in 36 citrus fruit cargos from South Africa this year, the Commission said in a statement.
Learning from past crises, the European Commission has changed tack on its approach to food security in the Horn of Africa, focusing on resilience to droughts and supporting diversification in local farming production, EurActiv reports. The list of hunger catastrophes in the history of the Horn of Africa is long. The latest one, only two years ago, was triggered by an extreme drought. Such extreme weather events are only expected to become more frequent with climate change, making preparedness more crucial than ever.