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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 295]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 295]
Send date: 2011-10-21 16:37:22
Issue #: 111
Content:
Bulletin CTA
1

This weblog shares information on key ACP-EU programmes and events
from Brussels relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries.


Date : [DATE]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week
  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 24/10 to 30/10/2011
  2. Our video guest: Michel Cramer, IDC
  3. The EC and its humanitarian partners: collaboration that saves lives
  4. High-level ACP-EU meeting on SME financing
  5. Council authorises EC to renew partnership agreement with Guinea Bissau
  6. ACP and LDC sugar suppliers deplore EC's CAP proposals
  7. EU agricultural commodity outlook 2011/2012 published
  8. Allow armed mercenaries on board of EU ships, demand two MEPs
  9. New initiative at WTO shuns developing countries
  10. Background information on new EU development policy
  11. EPA ratification: seminar for Zimbabwean Members of Parliament
  12. UK boosts Caribbean trade and integration through £10mn trust fund
  13. Namibian Chamber of Commerce calls for import restrictions
  14. ACP countries to discuss end of preferential markets
  15. Climate change: EIB welcomes new mandate for lending outside the EU
  16. European Commission launches a campaign on resource efficiency
  17. EU-Central America deal puts Caribbean exports into jeopardy
  18. Increasing and diversifying agricultural production in Malawi
  19. EU-EAC EPA could threaten Kenyan HIV drug import
  20. COP17 in Durban: EU and Africa on same wavelength
  21. Seminar on EU, Caribbean & Central America cooperation
  22. Council of Ministers adopts general EU position for Rio+20
  23. World Water Forum in Marseille
  24. New regional pesticide registration centre proposed in Pacific
  25. Visit of IUCN Directors to EU, ACP
  26. MEPs divided over success of EU diplomatic corps
  27. World Food Day 2011


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 24/10 to 30/10/2011
    2011-10-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    European Parliament
    -24-27 October: Plenary Session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg
    European Council

    - 26 October: European Council
    Council of Ministers
    -27/28 October: Justice and Home Affairs Council
    ACP Group

    -25 October: Committee of Ambassadors
    -26 October: W/G on the Future Perspectives of the ACP group
    Polish EU Presidency

    -25/26 October: European Migration Network Conference

    You can also read our newspaper “CTA Brussels Daily” (fed by our Twitter account), follow our new Facebook group CTABrussels and our Twitter account CTABrussels to receive up-to-date information on EU-ACP events.


    Link European Parliament
    Link Council of Ministers
    Link European Commission


  2. Our video guest: Michel Cramer, IDC
    2011-10-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    Michel Cramer is Project Director at the Investment Development Consultancy (IDC). For the ACP Secretariat, he conducted a report on SME financing together with his colleague Charles Vuylsteke. In this interview, Mr Cramer talks about the main challenges for SMEs to obtain finance - and the main solutions to overcome the challenges.

    CTA also conducted a video interview with Carmen Cristina Alvarez, Executive Vice President of Banco BHD in the Dominican Republic.


    Link Watch the video
    Link More information about the meeting
    Link ACP Business Climate


  3. The EC and its humanitarian partners: collaboration that saves lives
    2011-10-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    For the fourteenth year in a row, the European Commission convened its humanitarian partners for their Annual Conference in Brussels on 18 and 19 October. More than 350 participants from the partner organisations were expected, making this a gathering of the world's top humanitarian professionals.

    The Annual Conference was themed "ECHO & Partners: helping people together". The event provided an opportunity to discuss common priorities and the increasingly complex humanitarian challenges. The difficulties of delivering aid in conflict zones and the growing rate of attacks on humanitarian workers were also on the agenda, as were disaster trends and innovative responses, the coordination among multiple humanitarian agencies and future food and nutrition challenges. An exposition of suppliers for humanitarian agencies called AidEx, featuring water purifiers, emergency tents and logistical support was held in Brussels from 19 to 20 October (see the CTA video interview with Rachel Lauvik here).

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link AidEx
    Link CTA interview with Rachel Lauvik, UNHCR


  4. High-level ACP-EU meeting on SME financing
    2011-10-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development

    On 15 July 2011, the ACP Secretariat had brought different stakeholders together for a workshop on SME financing. As a result of the meeting, the ACP Business Climate facility (BizClim) asked Investment Development Consultancy (IDC) to deliver a report about the challenges that SMEs in ACP countries are facing with regard to financing. On October 13-14, the High-level panel reconvened at the ACP House in Brussels to discuss the preliminary findings of the consultants’ report.

    The meeting identified the cautiousness of commercial banks and development banks in ACP countries as the prime challenge in the financing of SMEs. Besides, SMEs often lack knowledge of how to acquire finance. To reduce the risks for the banks, the meeting discussed the option to make use of the EIB-managed Investment Facility among others.

    Overall, participants agreed on the following main recommendations and mandated the Advisory Committee to finalise and operationalise these recommendations and craft a policy paper for submission to the ACP Secretariat by end November at the latest.

    Main recommendations

    • Support capacity building focused on SME financing, which is paramount to their growth, requires grant funding that is private sector driven.
    • Greater proportion of financiers' funding, notably the EIB,  should address more forcefully the needs of the SME missing middle.
    • The EIB should enhance use of credit risk enhancement (mitigation) mechanisms, possibly with grant money, as well as its capital mobilisation ability.
    • Increase blending Grant money with DFIs’ money (e.g. European Union and EIB) in SME financing.
    • The EIB should operate pro-actively and achieve a larger reach, as well as wider country coverage.
    • Broaden the scope of grant money for project-related TA and other enhancement mechanisms and develop new blending instruments.

    Other Recommendations for consideration by the Advisory Committee

    • Enhance partnering with private sector organisations when providing SME financing.
    • Engage Governments in partnerships with the private sector in SME financing and the creation of an enabling business climate.

    Link Read more
    Link Watch the interview with Michel Cramer
    Link ACP Business Climate


  5. Council authorises EC to renew partnership agreement with Guinea Bissau
    2011-10-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    The 3120th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Luxembourg on 20 October 2011 adopted a decision to authorise the Commission to open negotiations on behalf of the EU for the renewal of the protocol to the fisheries partnership agreement with Guinea Bissau. The existing protocol expired on 15 June 2011. A new Protocol was initialled that would cover a one-year period until 15 June 2012. The Commission services therefore wish to open new negotiations in November 2011.

    Source: Council of Ministers


    Link Read more [PDF]
    Link EU-Guinea Bissau Fishing Agreement
    Link Reforming EU fisheries subsidies


  6. ACP and LDC sugar suppliers deplore EC's CAP proposals
    2011-10-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    The ACP and LDC cane sugar suppliers express their profound concern and dismay at the Commission’s proposals in respect of the elimination of sugar quotas in the context of the CAP reform announced on 12 October 2011.

    The ACP and LDCs are of the view that the elimination of sugar quotas as from 2015 disregards the EU market reality, the economic development objectives of the EU’s commitment to their countries as well as the key CAP objective of food security.  Indeed these proposals seriously jeopardize the EC market balance and the future of the sugar industries of the ACP/LDCs.

    Source: ACP Group of States


    Link Read more
    Link Agriculture proposals failing development
    Link Commission reform proposals spark mixed response


  7. EU agricultural commodity outlook 2011/2012 published
    2011-10-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Following the announcement of Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Cioloş at the G-20 agricultural ministers meeting in June 2011, the Commission has now published for the first time a short term outlook for main agricultural commodity markets.

    In the EU, cereals balance is expected to remain relatively tight with a 2011 production of 275 million tonnes. Oilseeds production is expected to decrease by 2.2% in 2011. Meat production, boosted by good exports in 2010, is expected to continue the trend in 2011 and then decrease slightly in 2012. Total EU milk production is forecast to reach almost 151 million tonnes in 2011 and remain similar in 2012. The short term outlook for arable crop, meat and dairy markets in the EU includes information and data available until 15 September 2011. The report is based on analyses of market experts within the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission and it will be published three times a year. Updates of the cereals balance sheet will be published monthly on Europa web site and for the first time end of October.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read the report
    Link Consult the monthly update


  8. Allow armed mercenaries on board of EU ships, demand two MEPs
    2011-10-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The EU has to reinforce its fight against piracy – that is the message that two Members of the Transport Committee in the European Parliament wanted to convey after a public hearing on piracy that was held on 12 October. For George Koumoutsakos from Greece and Peter van Dalen from the Netherlands, “the EU has to fight piracy with all the necessary means”. Between 450 and 600 sailors are still held hostage in Somalia according to Koumoutsakos. And the EU “has to try and free these people as soon as possible”.

    “Apart from the human aspect, there is also the economic aspect”, Van Dalen added, “pirates threaten this important lifeline for international trade. The two MEPs want to organise a debate in the Parliament plenary to upscale the results of the hearing and to increase pressure upon the EU member states.

    Source: Bruxelles2


    Link Read more
    Link Read Peter van Dalen's opinion piece
    Link Photos of the Hearing


  9. New initiative at WTO shuns developing countries
    2011-10-21
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    North American and European states at the WTO trade negotiations (Doha Development Agenda) have launched an initiative to start negotiating on controversial issues like investment, competition policy, energy security and climate change, although no consent has been reached on duty-free and quota-free market access yet.

    Industrialised countries also started a campaign to change the negotiation framework from a multilateral to a plurilateral framework where several of the current negotiators would be excluded. "If the new issues [proposed by industrialised countries] are not discussed at the WTO, members will discuss them outside and they (the African countries) will regret (such a move)," Switzerland’s trade envoy to the WTO told IPS.

    Source: IPS News


    Link Read more
    Link EU concerned over rise in protectionism
    Link WTO: Doha


  10. Background information on new EU development policy
    2011-10-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    Why does EU development policy need to be changed?

    Europe and the world are facing far-reaching political shifts; the world is going through economically uncertain times. At the same time, the challenges we face are becoming ever more complex and not enough progress is being made towards eliminating poverty. To make sure that EU policy has the greatest possible long-lasting impact on reducing poverty, it must refocus its efforts.

    The context of development cooperation is changing. New actors are become increasingly involved in development cooperation, including the private sector; large emerging countries are becoming active as donors and some of them establishing their own cooperation agencies. Finally, the EU has undergone institutional changes with, among other things, the establishment of the European External Action Service. […]

    Recent developments in food and commodity prices show that the exposure of developing countries to shocks arising from climate change and volatile food and energy prices needs to be better addressed, for example with investments in areas such as agriculture and energy.

    Studies have shown that billions of Euros could be saved if donors coordinated their work better. The EU and international donors have already made considerable efforts in recent years to harmonise their activities, in order to avoid duplication and increase the impact of their work. But more work is needed in coordinating and making sure that labour is divided sensibly among the different actors.

    Budget support will continue to be an important instrument of EU development cooperation, but the Communication also aims at modernising the budget support approach in order to improve its quality, value for money and impact. Budget support will strengthen the contractual partnerships with developing countries in order to build and consolidate democracies, pursue sustainable economic growth and eradicate poverty.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Read the Commission's proposal [PDF]
    Link Commissioner Piebalgs reacts to criticism


  11. EPA ratification: seminar for Zimbabwean Members of Parliament
    2011-10-20
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    On 13-14 October 2011 the European Union organized an information seminar in Harare, Zimbabwe, upon request of the Zimbabwean Parliament. The seminar addressed the EU-Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), now tabled for discussion and ratification in the Zimbabwean Parliament. Participants included Members of the Zimbabwean Parliament, representatives of the Ministry of Commerce and of the private sector.

    With a value of around €270 million (22%) of total Zimbabwean exports in 2010, the EU is the main export partner of the country. Main exports include sugar, tobacco, raw minerals (including ferro-alloys and building stones) and horticultural products (fresh cut flowers).

    The seminar addressed all aspects of the trade and development agreement signed by Zimbabwe in 2009, such as exclusion lists, infant industry protection, rules of origin, etc. It provided for a platform for debate not only between the EU and its Zimbabwean counterparts, but also between Zimbabwean stakeholders and policy-makers.

    In compliance with Zimbabwean law, the EPA will have to be ratified by both Chambers of the Parliament, followed by the Presidential signature of the ratification act. Zimbabwe indicated that the procedures should be completed before the end of 2011.


    Link Read more
    Link Zimbabwean Parliament
    Link EU Delegation to Zimbabwe


  12. UK boosts Caribbean trade and integration through £10mn trust fund
    2011-10-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    In this difficult economic climate, the UK has given tangible expression of its continued commitment to supporting Caribbean trade and integration, through the £10mn Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund) at CDB.

    This was among the messages shared at a high-level press briefing highlighting work on the CARTFund held at CDB on October 12, including the CDB President, Dr. Warren Smith and the UK’s Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan, as well as Percival Marie and Pamela Coke-Hamilton representing the CARICOM Secretariat and the Caribbean Export Development Agency respectively.

    The CARTFund was established with £10 million of funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). The Fund is managed by CDB and overseen by a Steering Committee comprising representatives from DFID, CARICOM and CARIFORUM. CARTFund supports the implementation of the CSME and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between CARIFORUM and the EU, with the aim of increasing trade within the region and with Europe, and ultimately providing more jobs and increased incomes for Caribbean people.

    Source: Caribbeanpressreleases.com


    Link Read more
    Link Caribbean Development Bank
    Link CARICOM


  13. Namibian Chamber of Commerce calls for import restrictions
    2011-10-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    The Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) is concerned about the ongoing debate and negotiations over the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the countries belonging to the ACP (Africa, Carribbean, Pacific) and the European Union (EU).

    NCCI‘s Chief Executive Officer Tarah Shaanika said on Monday in Windhoek that the chamber is not happy with the  unilateral deadline imposed on ACP countries, including Namibia, to sign the EPAs or lose market access to the EU.

    “It is our strong feeling that while the EU preaches its desire to create economic partnerships with its former colonies, the EU still believes that it is a superior partner in this partnership. Its actions and behaviour throughout the process of negotiation have been those of someone making a statement that he or she is a superior and the rest just have to follow,” said Shaanika. […]

    The NCCI’s CEO further criticised poor support given by Namibians to Namibian manufactures. He referred to local manufacturers like Ohorongo Cement, whereas Namibia would simultaneously still allow cement imports. He urged Namibians to support and buy local products. “We do not see any intervention from the government. If we are serious about creating industries, we must also be prepared to nurture them and protect them from threats. We need a policy that is going to dictate that only a certain limited amount of imports should be allowed into the country.”

    Source: informante.web.na


    Link Read more
    Link The EU angers the Namibian government
    Link Namibian concerns close to being addressed


  14. ACP countries to discuss end of preferential markets
    2011-10-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries will convene in Togo next month to discuss, amongst other issues, the possible extension period of preferential markets following their coming to an end around 2020, it has been revealed.

    In Swaziland, sugar is one of the many products that enter preferential markets duty and quota free.
    Mtfongwaneni Member of Parliament Patrick Gamedze said from the 3rd to the 6th of this month, he attended an ACP and European Union (EU) meeting in Brussels, Belgium, where trade related issues were extensively discussed.

    He said three committees at the meeting discussed, amongst other things, social issues and that the meeting was a build up to one that was to be held in Togo next month. […]

    Meanwhile, a DNA Economist Lawrence Edwards said the reliance on preferential markets was risky as these (markets) were coming to an end.  He advised Swaziland to consider China as an export destination as rates were lower. Edwards said exports in the country were targeting developed countries like Europe yet prices were volatile. He suggested that Swaziland venture into new markets and that it should use the preferential ones to access new ones.

    Source: Swazi Observer


    Link Read more
    Link EPA: The honeymoon is over
    Link EU-Swaziland Trade


  15. Climate change: EIB welcomes new mandate for lending outside the EU
    2011-10-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    The European Investment Bank and the European Commission welcome the final adoption today of new legislation on EIB lending outside the EU on the basis of an EU budgetary guarantee.  The new mandate streamlines the objectives of EIB lending and provides for additional resources to tackle climate change and to support the EU’s Southern and Eastern neighbours. The new mandate is expected to enter into force on 1st November 2011.

    EIB President Philippe Maystadt said: “This new mandate will strengthen the EIB’s capacity to respond to global challenges such as climate change and will further the EU’s partnership with neighbouring countries. We will work even more closely with the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission in pursuing EU policy goals.” [...]

    On top of an existing financial envelope of 25.8 billion euro, the new mandate provides for an extra EUR 2 billion of lending for climate action and an extra EUR 1.7 billion of lending for the EU’s pre-accession, neighbourhood and partner countries. [...]

    Among the novelties of the new mandate is the introduction of high-level objectives for financing across all eligible countries, namely:

    • local private sector development, including support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
    • social and economic infrastructure;
    • climate change mitigation and adaptation

    Source: EIB


    Link Read more
    Link Commission: DG Climate Change
    Link ACP: High level meeting to tackle SME financing


  16. European Commission launches a campaign on resource efficiency
    2011-10-19
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment

    17 October saw the launch of "Generation Awake. Your choices make a world of difference!" an EU campaign designed to encourage consumers to make resource efficiency a habit. The campaign was unveiled in Poland by European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik and Polish Environment Minister Andrzej Kraszewski. Its aim is to raise awareness about the need to use scarce natural resources wisely, and to encourage citizens to think about their impact on the planet when making purchasing decisions.

    Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "With our economy in difficulty and our resources dwindling, it's time to start rethinking some of our habits. Using resources more carefully not only helps protect the environment, but saves money and reduces business costs. It's about using less to do more. Everyone can do their bit. We just need to wake up!"

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link More information about the campaign
    Link UNEP: EU wastes 99% of its high-tech metals


  17. EU-Central America deal puts Caribbean exports into jeopardy
    2011-10-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Sometime early next year the association agreement reached in May between Central America and Europe will come into force. It will open quickly the EU market to agricultural products and manufactured items from Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In many cases access will be for products for which the Caribbean has had long term preferential access. […] What is apparent, talking to Central American Government and private sector interests, is that they are preparing to rapidly take the maximum advantage of the opportunity that the new arrangement will offer for trade, investment and development and there are many in Europe who will be excited to help interests that are responsive. […]

    This contrasts markedly with the slow pace of implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that Cariforum states agreed with Europe in 2007, the apparent disinterest in some parts of the region in what is a legally binding agreement, and the virtual invisibility of much of the region in continental Europe in making known what the Caribbean has to offer.

    Source: Dominican Today (Opinion)


    Link Read more
    Link EU Trade relations with Central America
    Link Green Growth Investment Forum in Brussels


  18. Increasing and diversifying agricultural production in Malawi
    2011-10-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, ACP-EU Policy

    In Malawi, agriculture accounts for 36% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 90% of foreign export earnings and employs 87% of the population. However, to reach the goal of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy of transforming Malawi from a predominately importing and consuming to a producing and exporting country, some important challenges need to be addressed. The European Commission therefore implemented the Farm Income Diversification Programme.

    Its objectives are among others to provide training and capacities to 46 000 smallholder farmers, to reduce post harvest losses and to diversify and increase agricultural production. In the first phase of the programme from 2005 to 2010, it has helped to raise average household income from 126 EUR to 190 EUR and to save about 1 530 000 kg of grain from post harvest loss. The second phase of the programme, to which the European Commission contributes 16.2 million EUR (88% of the total volume), has started in 2010.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more [PDF]
    Link EU cooperation with Malawi
    Link EU Delegation to Malawi


  19. EU-EAC EPA could threaten Kenyan HIV drug import
    2011-10-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, ACP-EU Trade

    Kenya’s pending signature of a trade deal with the European Union (EU) could block the importation of generic drugs from India, threatening the lives of a third of 1 million people on life-saving HIV/AIDS drugs.

    A panel of health and gender experts appointed by the African Union (AU), who visited Kenya this week to investigate the status of people living with HIV, said the parallel importation of the anti-retroviral (ARVs) drugs could be threatened in Kenya.

    The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, appointed the expert committee to undertake the review visit to Kenya to engage the government and the civil society in talks on the status of people living with HIV.

    The experts said apart from the pending signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Commission, the passing of an anti-counterfeit law in Kenya, was likely to block the importation of the generic drugs into Kenya. […]

    HIV activists say the anti-counterfeit law could ban the importation of generic drugs, mostly from India, whose pharmaceutical firm, Cipla, has been against the definition of anti-counterfeit legislation, which it says is an agenda by powerful western firms.

    Source: Coastweek


    Link Read more
    Link Activists urge countries to get clever with TRIPS
    Link Reducing the price of HIV/AIDS treatment


  20. COP17 in Durban: EU and Africa on same wavelength
    2011-10-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, ACP-EU Policy

    Overall, the EU and Africa agree: it is essential to find a means to give the upcoming Durban conference enough impulse to keep the process of negotiation on climate change going. Both parties also agree on promoting strong cooperation between the EU and Africa in areas such as peace, security and economic development, which are all linked, in one way or another, to climate change. The high-level round-table organised in Brussels, on 14 October, by the European Commission gathered the representatives and experts of the EU (27 member states) and of the African Union (24 member states).

    The objective was to find, through extensive dialogue, common bases ahead of the global climate change conference in Durban, South Africa (28 November-9 December). The EU received the confirmation that it has the support of African countries in its crusade to keep the negotiation process on climate change alive.

    Source: Europolitics


    Link Read more
    Link Climate change conference in Durban
    Link The green race to Durban and beyond


  21. Seminar on EU, Caribbean & Central America cooperation
    2011-10-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Aid effectiveness

    The International Seminar “EU, Caribbean & Central America cooperation in Research and Innovation” took place in the Silken Hotel in Brussels, Belgium last 5th of October, 2011.

    The Seminar, jointly organized by the ENLACE and EUCARINET projects with the support of the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation), aims at foster the cooperation in Research and Innovation among Europe, Central America and the Caribbean through discussions and consensus building among research officers from these regions, European Commission officers and other Research and Innovation stakeholders.

    Source: Eucarinet


    Link Read more
    Link DG Research and Innovation
    Link EUCARINET


  22. Council of Ministers adopts general EU position for Rio+20
    2011-10-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Archive, Food Security

    The Council adopted conclusions establishing the EU general position at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (15388/11), to be held from 4 to 6 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro.

    Ministers held an exchange of views on the two themes of the conference:

    –     a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication;
    –     the institutional framework for sustainable development

    and they also set out their expectations for this meeting. There was consensus on the fact that the transition towards a green economy has great potential to promote long-term sustainable growth, create jobs and thus eradicate poverty. Several ministers also pointed out that to contribute effectively to poverty eradication, green economy policies and measures need to take into account the needs of the poor.

    Ministers expect therefore that the main operational outcomes of the Rio+20 should include a "green economy roadmap" with specific goals and actions at international level, as well as a package of reforms leading to a strengthened international environmental governance. A number of member states stressed that the EU should be ambitious and continue to take the lead in this process.

    Ministers acknowledged generally that the weakness of the current institutional framework for sustainable development hinders the effective implementation of the objectives agreed at previous international conferences. In this context, several ministers stressed the need for upgrading the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) into a UN specialized agency for the environment, so as to streamline UN operations in this field.

    A number of member states and the Commission also recalled the role that resource efficiency can play to involve more closely the private sector in the common efforts and several member states underlined the importance of participation of the civil society in the process leading to Rio+20 and in the implementation of its outcomes.

    Source: Council of Ministers


    Link Read more [PDF]
    Link Rio+20 Conference
    Link UN: Millenium Development Goals


  23. World Water Forum in Marseille
    2011-10-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Food Security, Archive, Food Policy

    In 2012, European Year of Water, France will be hosting the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille (from 12 to 17 March 2012). The Forum is the most important international event devoted to water and sanitation. It is held jointly by a host country and host city and by the World Water Council. The last one, in Istanbul in March 2009, was attended by 30 000 people representing governments, parliaments, international organisations, public bodies responsible for water management, companies, regional or local authorities, non-governmental organisations and scientists from around the world.

    The Forum will mark a turning point, given the scale and gravity of the issues at stake – nearly two billion people live without access to safe water and decent sanitation facilities – and the recognition by the United Nations of the right to safe water and sanitation as a human right, also taking into account population and urban growth and the impact of climate change, which affect water resources.

    Source: Council of Ministres


    Link Read more [PDF]
    Link World Water Forum
    Link Brussels Briefing on Water


  24. New regional pesticide registration centre proposed in Pacific
    2011-10-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    A meeting hosted by the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) at their offices in Kingston, Canberra brought together pesticide registrars from Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu, as well as heads of research and CEOs. Solomon Islands were not able to send a representative.

    The five countries are part of FAO activities under the EC ACP Secretariat funded project on Capacity Building for the Implementation of Multilateral Environment Agreements (MEAs) in ACP Countries - Pacific Component.

    The proposed regional centre and establishment of a pesticide stock management system (PSMS) is a response to an identified need from the countries for a regionally harmonised pesticide registration system and a central place that can be an entry point for donor and technical assistance from partners - FAO, the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and APVMA - and somewhere to pool resources. The centre will be housed in the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). A request to formalise the operation of the centre will be submitted to the Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry meeting in September 2012.

    Source: Solomon Times


    Link Read more
    Link EU: Sustainable use of pesticides
    Link Secretariat of the Pacific Community


  25. Visit of IUCN Directors to EU, ACP
    2011-10-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    “The Governments of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific are waking up to the recognition that the management and restoration of ecosystems is an effective way of providing natural solutions to the development pressures of our time,” stated Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), during a recent visit of IUCN Regional Directors to Brussels.

    IUCN Regional Directors from Eastern and Southern Africa, the Pacific and Europe were joined by senior colleagues from West Africa and the Caribbean and IUCN Headquarters staff during a three-day visit to Brussels, for meetings with the European Commission, the EU-ACP dialogue in the European Parliament and the Secretariat of the ACP Group of States. The visit was organised by the IUCN European Union Representative Office in Brussels. […]

    Discussions focused on specific IUCN initiatives such as the EC-funded Biodiversity and Protected Area Management programme (BIOPAMA) which is expected to start before the end of the year.

    Source: IUCN


    Link Read more
    Link IUCN
    Link ACP Group


  26. MEPs divided over success of EU diplomatic corps
    2011-10-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    MEPs are split on the performance of the external action service (EAS) in the first year of its operation. They are equally divided on how the person who heads the service, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, has performed in her high-profile role. The service was set up by the Lisbon treaty to give the EU a "voice" on the world stage and supports 7000 diplomats in 130 overseas missions.

    Italian EPP member Gabriel Albertini, who chairs the foreign affairs committee, believes the EAS has lived up to expectations, saying, "This year has been a successful one for the EAS. Ashton and her cabinet are still working closely with the EU to appoint the vacant places. The cooperation with the parliament so far has worked very well, with regular exchanges with Ashton and the newly appointed head of delegations and EU special representatives.

    Source: theparliament.com


    Link Read more
    Link EEAS
    Link EP: Foreign Affairs Committee


  27. World Food Day 2011
    2011-10-17
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Food Policy

    The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Program (WFP) are celebrating World Food Day 2011 on 17 October with a series of speeches by visiting guests and performances by celebrity goodwill ambassadors. FAO will also name British film star Jeremy Irons as its newest celebrity goodwill ambassador. The theme for World Food Day 2011 is Food prices - from crisis to stability.

    Source: FAO


    Link Read more
    Link Watch live
    Link EP President Buzek on World Food Day



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Isolina BOTO
CTA
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Editor: André Feldhof (feldhof@cta.int)

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For more information on the full range of CTA activities please go to http://www.cta.int/
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Copyright © 2011 Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU. Email:cta@cta.int
The opinions expressed in the comments and analysis are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of CTA.

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