Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

November 2017
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EDITO
Saturday, 18 November 2017
Today is the 18th World AIDS-day. AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized in 1981. In 2005, close to 5 million people were newly infected with the virus, more than 3 million of these in sub-Saharan Africa alone.
- The European Union has made the fight against AIDS a priority in its development policy and is the biggest contributor to the UN's Global Fund.
On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2005, and against the background of increasing HIV prevalence, members of the European Union, reaffirm their commitment to tackle the AIDS pandemic in a comprehensive and integrated way, including prevention, treatment, care and research, and in particular to address the HIV prevention gap, which left unchecked will undermine the whole AIDS response.
- The ACP Group calls on international donors and national governments to increase financial resources for research and development of HIV vaccines and microbicides as well as enhancing the sharing of information and good practices aimed at halting and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS. It also pledged to undertake, within the ACP Group, and in collaboration with its development partners and Non-Governmental Organisations, all necessary actions to continue to support the global initiatives against HIV/AIDS, such as the Global Fund to fight against Aids, Malaria and Tuberculosis (GFATM) and national and regional programmes geared to mitigate HIV/AIDS infections through intra-ACP cooperation.
- The CTA and FAO, together with other partners, work in the area of the impact of the pandemic on the agricultural sector and the rural communities (see http://www.cta.int).
The EU Council adopted on 29 November a regulation[1] setting a new single tariff rate for banana imports with a view to the entry into force of a tariff-only regime as from 1 January 2006, as well as a zero tariff rate quota for bananas originating in ACP countries. The normal tariff rate for banana imported from Most Favoured Nations (MFN) suppliers will be EUR 176 per tonne. An annual import quota of 775 000 tonnes subject to a zero-duty rate will be opened for imports of bananas from ACP countries under the ACP-EU partnership agreement, starting from 2006. The Commission will adopt transitional measures in order to facilitate the switchover from the existing to the new arrangements.
The EU notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO), on 31 January 2005, its intention to replace its concessions on bananas, but a WTO arbitrator's award concluded last August that the tariff rate of EUR 230/tonne proposed by the EU was not consistent with WTO rules as it would not enable total market access for countries benefiting from MFN status. The EU could not reach an agreement on the tariff rate with some countries, namely, Ecuador and Panama, having a principal supplying interest, and Colombia and Costa Rica, having a substantial supplier interest. The EU revised the proposal in the light of the arbitrator's findings and in a second arbitration award, issued on 27 October, the WTO arbitrator concluded that the revised proposal for an MFN tariff rate of EUR 187/tonne failed to rectify the matter.
[1] The regulation was adopted at the Competitiveness Council session by qualified majority.
“.eu”: Europe’s new internet address opens for business on 7 December
The Commission announced today that the “.eu” top-level domain, which enables businesses, public bodies and citizens to choose a pan-European Internet name for their web sites and e-mail addresses, opens for business on 7 December 2005. A “.eu” suffix enables users to project a Europe-wide presence, ambition or affiliation. It complements, but does not replace, national country codes such as France’s “.fr”, Poland’s “.pl” or the UK’s “.uk”. A sunrise period of 4 months will allow holders of prior rights – including businesses – to apply for the registration of domain names provided they are settled in the European Union. From 7 April 2006, the Registry will open its doors for applications from the general public. With the launch of .eu, the Commission lives up to the promise made at the Lisbon European Council in 2000 to give Europe’s Information Society an identity on the web under reliable EU rules.
The European Commission, on behalf of the European Union, and Gabon have initialled a Fisheries Partnership Agreement (FPA) for a period of six years, which will become effective on 3 December 2005. This fisheries agreement will replace the current one, due to end the day before. The new Protocol under the FPA provides for tuna fishing opportunities for 40 Community vessels, in return for an EU annual financial contribution of € 860,000, of which 60% is earmarked for support to the Gabonese national fishing policy. In addition to refocusing financial support, the new agreement also marks the beginning of a new era in fisheries cooperation between the EU and Gabon dedicated to promoting sustainable fisheries in Gabonese waters. In particular, it breaks new ground by committing both parties to broad-ranging and systematic policy dialogue, and to strengthening cooperation in a number of areas. This move towards partnership agreements, agreed under the 2002 reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, focus support on developing the local fishing sector and the capacity of the partner countries to ensure sustainable fisheries in their waters.
Thursday, 01 December 2005
Later today, Joe Borg, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, on behalf of the European Union and Mr Mohamed Abdoulhamid, Minister of Rural Development, Fisheries and Environment of the Islamic Republic of the Comoros Islands, will sign the new EU/Comoros fisheries protocol which will be in place until 31 December 2010. This new protocol heralds a new era in co-operation by establishing both a clear commitment to fisheries policy cooperation between the two Parties, and the mechanisms to turn that commitment into a reality.