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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 320]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 320]
Send date: 2012-04-27 16:59:47
Issue #: 136
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 30/04 to 6/05/2012
  2. Our video guest: Cheick Sidi Diarra, UN Under Secretary General
  3. Promoting Green Investments in the Eastern Caribbean
  4. EPAs: Guyana pulls ahead of its neighbours
  5. Fears before Rio Conference
  6. EU Funds to help the most vulnerable districts of Gambia
  7. Little hope for EU change of heart before Zimbabwe
  8. EPAs: Makers of Disastrous Consequences?
  9. EU should improve institutional coordination
  10. EU development cooperation: Mali will have to make progress
  11. EU and EAC meet in Brussels to discuss EPA
  12. FPAs: No more blind eye, time to walk the talk
  13. Ministers adopt conclusions on Guinea-Bissau
  14. Brussels the stage for latest West Africa-EU EPA negotiations
  15. Intra-African trade: too significant to underestimate
  16. CAAST network to help improve S&T cooperation
  17. EC to open negotiations with Madagascar on the renewal of the FPA
  18. An outline to build a South-South system
  19. Interdependence with the ACP leaves Europe out of options
  20. Pacific Islands urge rigorous tuna fishing measures
  21. EU and Angola to deepen ties
  22. Report on sustainable production shows further efforts are needed
  23. Latest ACP-EU updates


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 30/04 to 6/05/2012
    2012-04-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    Council of Ministers
    -2/3may: COREPER II
    -3 may: COREPER I
    ACP Group

    - 2/3 May: Development Strategy for Services Sector in ACP countries
    - 3 may:  ACP Sugar Committee
    -4 may S/C: on Political, Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs
    -4 may:  62nd meeting on the ACP-EU Committee of Ambassador
    Research events
    - 6/11 May: 10th meeting of the International Resource Panel

    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.




  2. Our video guest: Cheick Sidi Diarra, UN Under Secretary General
    2012-04-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, ACP-EU Policy

    Small Island Developing States (SIDS) were recognized as a distinct group of developing countries facing specific social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992. But why are they more vulnerable to external shocks than other developing countries? Do partnership mechanisms help improve the effectiveness of their national policies?  Cheick Sidi Diarra, UN Under Secretary General and High Representative for the LDCs, Land Locked Developing Countries and SIDS, answers these and other questions.   Speaking of the International Community, he states that SIDS "need measures to be taken by development partners"


    Link Watch the video
    Link Statement of Cheick Sidi Diarra
    Link Discussions in Mauritius


  3. Promoting Green Investments in the Eastern Caribbean
    2012-04-27
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Archive

    How does one “green” an economy? For governments seeking a cleaner, more efficient, and ultimately more sustainable pathway to economic prosperity, this question entails both promise and great challenges. The Green Growth Investment Forum (GGIF) aims at gathering potential investors and policy makers in the Caribbean and create awareness in Europe of the specific development realities and challenges facing the small islands of the OECS. The participants will comprise investors in the area of “green economy” in the Caribbean and private sector representatives who use green technologies or are interested in developing these technologies within their companies. Major deliverables of the Forum are the proposal for a Green Award for enterprises who produce based on sustainable and environment-friendly criteria; the need for the exploration surrounding the development of a technical and regulatory (legislative) framework to allow for more effective implementation of a green economy in the Eastern Caribbean; and the way forward for joint energy policy formulation in the OECS, with regulated exchange of information and technology with neighboring territories. This meeting will be organized by OECS in collaboration with CTA and will take place in Saint Lucia in July 2012.
    More information will be available at brusselsbriefings in the coming weeks.




  4. EPAs: Guyana pulls ahead of its neighbours
    2012-04-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    In the opinion of Jolita Butkeviciene, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Directorate General for EuropeAid Development and Cooperation (DEVCO),  Guyana has pulled ahead of its Caribbean neighbours in the implementation of aspects of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Her statements came following her visit to Guyana alongside a team to assess country’s cooperation with the EU. She was also accompanied by the head of the Delegation of the EU to Guyana, Ambassador Robert Kopecky, and  met with President Donald Ramotar.
    She has recognized that Guyana’s views on the EPA have been well represented during the negotiations, and said that there are signs the country is benefitting from the deal. Notably, she announced that 75 million Euros are ready for disbursement in accordance with the priorities of the Guyanese government.
    Guyana has recently started negotiations with the EU on a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) that will ensure that only legally harvested timber enters the market. This is intended to lead to better monitoring with the aim of ensuring that timber harvesting is conducted according to international standards.

    Source: National Communications Network Guyana


    Link Read more
    Link Against illegal timber harvesting
    Link EU-Guyana


  5. Fears before Rio Conference
    2012-04-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Food Security, Rural development, Archive

    As there is a degree of opposition regarding certain issues to be discussed at the upcoming sustainable development conference in Rio de Janeiro, the EU will be facing a challenge in achieving its goals. According to an article published by EurActiv, the EU aims to make a green economy based on sustainable growth one of its pillars, as well as further empower the UN Environment Programme and other UN agencies regarding the supervision and enforcement of treaties.
    Concerns have been already expressed by African leaders over European aims to seek binding targets on sustainable development, and it is believed that the U.S. would oppose to an expanded role for UN agencies.
    Accordingly, Karl Falkenberg, the European Commission’s chief of the Environmental Directorate, told MEPs of the Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development that the EU has to show that the green economy roadmap “is not just a European concept adapted to the realities in Europe, but that it is the only sustainable way forward to help developing countries grow and lift their populations out of poverty”.
    Lack of consensus on these and other issues have frightened stakeholders. Antonio Vigilante, director of the UN Development Programme’s Brussels office, has warned of the overwhelming consequences of Rio not meeting expectations:  “Rio is not an environment conference, it’s not a conference to save nature. It’s a conference to save to save human beings. It’s a conference that has to combine the two most pressing challenges of our times – equity and sustainability – and the one cannot be sacrificed for the other”.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Commission Communication on Rio+20
    Link Rio+20


  6. EU Funds to help the most vulnerable districts of Gambia
    2012-04-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Policy, Food Security, Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    Following the agreement reached by the EU and the government of Gambia, the European Union will allocate €365,000 to the World Food Programme (WFP), as part of the rapid response to the food crisis in the country.  
    According to the latest updates, these funds will be used to purchase 1300 tons of food.
    These will be directed to the 19 most vulnerable districts of Gambia, notably the Central River Region. The funds have been allocated from the European Commission STABEX scheme (now expired), which was originally designed to compensate ACP countries for falls in export revenue.

    Source: Observer Gambia


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Gambia
    Link Failure over Stabex aid money


  7. Little hope for EU change of heart before Zimbabwe
    2012-04-26
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    Depending on the political and economic reforms met by Zimbabwe by August of this year,  the EU will or not revise development co-operation with the country. This statement was made by Claudia Wiedey-Nippold, the EEAS Head of Division for Southern Africa,  during her visit to Zimbabwe, where she met with Foreign Affairs ministry permanent secretary Joey Bimha, weeks before the Zimbabwe-EU re-engagement dialogue, expected to be held in Brussels.  
    However, hopes on EU’s will to change its mind and lift the sanctions are faltering, as  the country did not succeed in addressing its democratic deficits in line with the Global Political Agreement (GPA),  signed in September 2008, and which gave birth to the inclusive government.

    Source: Newsday


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Zimbabwe
    Link Will to increase investment in Zimbabwe


  8. EPAs: Makers of Disastrous Consequences?
    2012-04-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Oduor Ong'wen, the country director of the Southern and Eastern Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI), has published an article this week in which, as many of his other African colleagues, lists the cons of the EPAs.  Speaking in particular of East Africa, he agrees with the conclusions of numerous studies and points to these agreements as leading to disastrous consequences for African citizens.
    On a specific note regarding agriculture, he states that farmers will face increased competition from Europe’s highly subsidized goods. Furthermore, the expected loss of government revenue will affect social welfare schemes and therefore citizens as well.  Though doubtful that an EPA agreement between the EAC bloc and the EU will be concluded, he warns of the  potential risks: “Though often appearing to be technical in nature, the various issues considered by EAC negotiators as ‘contentious’ will have significant economic and political consequences for their development”.

    Source: The Star/ CTA


    Link Read more
    Link Stunning statements on EPAs
    Link Know more about SEATINI


  9. EU should improve institutional coordination
    2012-04-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Archive, ACP-EU Policy

    According to a new report by OECD, presented this week to the Parliament,  EU development aid programmes run the risk of poor institutional coordination despite positive improvements in recent years.
    In the words of Wiske Jult from 11.11.11, the Belgian platform of Concord, once again criticizes the External Action Service as “failing to integrate development policy in its remit and clarify its role vis-à-vis the Commission”.
    On a positive note, Olivier Consolo, Director of Concord, the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs,  states that “overall, EU aid has improved in several key areas such as working more closely with partner countries [and]  also shows progress in establishing common standards and principles for development policy across 27 member states”.  Nonetheless, Mr. Consolo suggests that the EU should follow the call of the OECD “to continue to push to meet commitments to give 0.7% of their GNI to development aid with a clear binding roadmap to achieve the 2015 target”.

    Source: Concord


    Link Read more
    Link The EEAS: leaving aside anti-poverty objectives
    Link A more cohesive approach to development


  10. EU development cooperation: Mali will have to make progress
    2012-04-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Archive, Food Security, ACP-EU Policy

    During the course of the last Council meeting on Foreign Affairs, ministers have recalled their conclusions of 22-23 March 2012 on Sahel firmly condemning the seizure of power by force in Mali. The EU development cooperation with the country, which is currently on hold, will be resumed “in line with progress towards the full restoration of constitutional order”. Ongoing direct support to the population will continue as well as humanitarian aid.
    The Council has expressed concerns over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Sahel region due to serious food shortages, which have been “[e]xacerbated by insecurity and the lack of access for humanitarian aid […]”, and which  can lead to a major humanitarian disaster.
    Among conclusions, the Council has adopted the following: “Recent developments in Mali and the broader security, development and humanitarian
    challenges in the region confirm the importance of security sector reform and accelerated implementation of the EU Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel including the deployment of the proposed civilian CSDP mission to Niger by July 2012”.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link EU freezes development operations in Mali
    Link Council conlusions on Sahel


  11. EU and EAC meet in Brussels to discuss EPA
    2012-04-25
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    According to the European Commission Press service, this week EU and East African Community (EAC) negotiators met in Brussels at the technical level to discuss dispute settlement, institutional provisions, agriculture, economic and development cooperation, sustainable development and good governance in tax matters.
    On the EU side, it has been said that “good progress” has been made on several of the issues on the agenda. Following this meeting, the fifth since September, the next round of negotiations will be held in Mombasa (Kenya), in May of 2012. The negotiations are expected to be concluded by summer 2012.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link EAC-EU trade negotiations
    Link EPAs: Makers of Disastrous Consequences?


  12. FPAs: No more blind eye, time to walk the talk
    2012-04-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, ACP-EU Policy

    Bob Dewar, a former diplomat who has served as High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador to Ethiopia and High Commissioner to Mozambique, has recently published an opinion article where he analyses the history of Europe's external fisheries agreements and gives some recommendations. As he thinks that future deals can lead to a win-win situation if certain policies are put in place, he says that “the time of turning a blind eye is over”.
    Following a brief review of the Fisheries Partnership Agreements (FPAs) , he stresses that the 2012 reform of the Common Fisheries Policy is a good opportunity to do better:  “The Europeans need real reform in their own back yard - dramatically rebuilding stocks, preventing over-capacity, over-fishing and damage to the environment. And the mirror of better behaviour should then be shone abroad, so that African and other developing countries get maximum benefit”.
    On the African side of the equation, he calls upon African nations to work out how new Sustainable Fisheries "can boost good governance, food security and poverty reduction". Mr Dewar expresses concerns as the great majority of people in both Europe and Africa fail to remember the sea when it comes to conservation and food security. “Why then the blind eye? Perhaps the high seas are part of the tragedy of the commons, merely someone else's problem?”, he questions.
    In his concluding remarks, he underlines a positive chance for both sides: “For Europeans this is an opportunity to walk the talk. To implement full transparency; have an eco-system approach […]Fishing agreements should also be integrated into development policy - after all they are about food and nutrition […] For African partners this is an opportunity to ensure transparent and good use of fishing revenue, building domestic capacity and access for national fleets; and keeping healthy seas for artisanal and small scale fisheries […]”

    Source: CTA/ All Africa


    Link Read more
    Link FPAs
    Link Ranking priorities for EU Common Fisheries Policy


  13. Ministers adopt conclusions on Guinea-Bissau
    2012-04-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    Following the coup d’etat in Guinea-Bissau, the Council on Foreign Affairs has urged to an immediate reestablishment of the legitimate government, the completion of the interrupted democratic electoral process and the immediate restoration of constitutional order. According to the conclusions adopted during the course of its last meeting “[t]he EU is ready to impose restrictive measures against individuals who continue to engage in or provide support for acts that threaten the peace, security and stability of Guinea-Bissau."
    The EU won’t recognise self-appointed transitional institutions or any kind of arrangement, and therefore it rejects the establishment of a so-called "Transitional National Council".
    Sanctions or restrictive measures (the two terms are used interchangeably) have been frequently imposed by the EU in recent years, either on an autonomous EU basis or implementing binding Resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations. Restrictive measures imposed by the EU may target governments of third countries, or non-state entities and individuals (such as terrorist groups and terrorists). They may comprise arms embargoes, other specific or general trade restrictions (import and export bans), financial restrictions, restrictions on admission (visa or travel bans), or other measures, as appropriate.

    Source: Council of the EU



    Link Read more
    Link Restrictive measures
    Link The EU and Guinea-Bissau


  14. Brussels the stage for latest West Africa-EU EPA negotiations
    2012-04-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    Brussels recently saw the latest EPA negotiations between the EU and West Africa. The 2-day meeting, where parties discussed the text of the agreement, comes after a week-long session on rules of origin in late March and a meeting of the Regional Preparatory Task Force (RPTF) on April 17.
    According to the European Commission, “good progress was made on the text of the agreement, the rules of origin, the EPA Development Programme (PAPED) and other outstanding issues”. The EU appears to be optimistic about the progress of the negotiations, and is convinced  that a compromise can be found with a decision at the political level on reciprocal market access.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Ghana presses ECOWAS for consensus on EPA
    Link See West Africa-EU statistics


  15. Intra-African trade: too significant to underestimate
    2012-04-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    What is the assessment of Intra-African trade? While the WTO maintains its long-standing opinion and says that trade among African countries is too low and “stagnant”, experts at the South Centre, an inter-governmental think tank of developing countries, stress that trade is significant in manufactured goods and seems to be leading to a new path to industrialisation.
    Valentine Rugwabiza, deputy director general of the WTO, stands by her statements, saying that last year, African Intra-continental trade “stood at 10 percent of the continent's overall trade" and “Africa's share in world trade is also very small”, though this is growing vis-a-vis emerging economies. She underlines that a number of problems have been inherited from the colonial era, such as “a rigid division of labour” and the over-reliance on the export of primary products (i.e., natural resources). Furthermore, she recalls the length of time it takes for Africa to deliver its products to importing countries, compared to other regions such as Latin America or the Caribbean.
    The Geneva-based South Centre, however points out that intra-African trade is low “in absolute terms”: According to a trade policy officer of the centre "in terms of non-oil exports Africa's internal trade is almost on par with its exports to the EU […] the trade growth rate within Africa is the second highest after China and before the United States and the EU . Therefore, it is very promising, also in terms of the quality of exports. Most of Africa's manufactured goods go to Africa. So if the continent wants to industrialise, the market that provides the best opportunities is Africa, not China, the U.S., or the EU."

    Source: IPS/CTA

    http://allafrica.com/stories/201204240408.html

    Link Read more
    Link EPA the biggest threat to African integration
    Link Boosting intra-African trade


  16. CAAST network to help improve S&T cooperation
    2012-04-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive

    The second stakeholders conference of the Network for the Coordination and Advancement of Sub-Saharan Africa-EU Science and Technology Co-operation between Sub-Saharan Africa and the EU (CAAST. Net), is being held this week in Senegal.
    According to the Senegalese daily Le Soleil, Serigne Mbaye Thiam, Minister of Higher Education and Research, who chairs the event, has stressed the importance of technology for developing countries, particularly in Africa. The minister was confident and satisfied with the establishment of the CAAST network. Net, as the network  is the evidence "of the changes that structure the skeleton of a scientific and technological cooperation between Europe and Africa."
    The Caast.net is a high-level platform for the improvement of international cooperation in areas of mutual interest between Europe and Africa. The program is funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme.

    Source: Le Soleil


    Link Read more [FR]
    Link Know more about the CAAST Net
    Link 7th Framework Programme


  17. EC to open negotiations with Madagascar on the renewal of the FPA
    2012-04-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    During the course of the last Council meeting on General Affairs, which was held this week, ministers adopted a decision authorising the Commission to open negotiations on behalf of the EU for the renewal of a protocol to the EU's fisheries partnership agreement with Madagascar, as the existing will expire on 31 December 2012.
    Additionally, the renewal of the current protocol will be in line with the Council conclusions of 19 March 2012 on a communication from the Commission on the external dimension of the EU's Common Fisheries Policy.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Existing FPA with Madagascar
    Link EU-Magadascar


  18. An outline to build a South-South system
    2012-04-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy, Rural development, Archive

    Following a key summit held last month, a final document which outlines initial actions to build a system for South-South (SSC) and Triangular cooperation (TrC) has been drafted  by a working group of multilateral partners, including the ACP Group, which has officially been a partner since the Busan Forum .  The Building Block on SSC and TrC will attempt to produce a “Menu of Practices” and a set of referential guidelines to encourage joint efforts.
    Four major areas of work have been defined by the Building Block: the development of capacities that can allow for countries’ involvement in the SSC and TrC; the promotion of “learning activities” for Middle Income countries and other Southern partners; the acquisition of knowledge-sharing methods used by multilateral organisations and improving access to this information; and the formation of a monitoring and evaluation framework on the contribution of SSC and TrC to global development.

    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link Read the document
    Link SSC and TRC


  19. Interdependence with the ACP leaves Europe out of options
    2012-04-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    During the course of a workshop recently hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, Secretary General Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas recalled the great potential of the ACP Group as an international partner. “We [..] believe that Europe will continually need the ACP to validate its evolving role as a global actor in international relations. As principal donor to the ACP, the EU has access to 79 member countries within its sphere of diplomatic and geopolitical influence.”
    He underlined that the ACP economies represent a potentially huge market and an attractive investment opportunity, particularly so considering “Europe’s aging population and its current fiscal and institutional challenges”.
    Despite recognizing the significant gap between Europe and the 79 countries of the Group in terms of technology and skills, he stressed the abundance of natural resource endowments in the ACP Group. “There is therefore a basis for interdependence and mutuality of interests”, he added.

    Source: ACP


    Link Read more
    Link Overview of the Cotonou Agreement
    Link Read the speech of the SC


  20. Pacific Islands urge rigorous tuna fishing measures
    2012-04-24
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries

    Following negotiations  in Guam last month, Pacific island nations and conservation groups were unable to convince all members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) to enact more rigorous measures to protect the tuna supply.
    According to SciDev.Net (the Science and Development Network), these countries, with the support of Australia, were not able to reach a deal with the United States, European Union, China and Japan about prospective measures to conserve big-eye tuna stocks and protect other species.
    WCPFC's Scientific Committee has repeatedly warned of the overfishing of big-eye tuna, which is 80% depleted.  Likewise, yellowfin tuna is being fished to the limit of sustainability, and skipjack -- the variety commonly used in cans -- needs to be watched closely.

    Source: SciDev



    Link Read more
    Link Know more about the WCPFC
    Link Pacific Bigeye Tuna


  21. EU and Angola to deepen ties
    2012-04-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    According to recent reports by Reuters, the EU and Angola are set to reach a deal that will help the African country maintain its economic growth, boost good governance and fight poverty. In the words of José Manuel Durão Barroso,  the President of the European Commission, the new agreement, called the EU-Angola Joint Way Forward, is intended to “launch a permanent process of dialogue and cooperation between the two regions”.
    Recognising Angola's economic performance over the last decade, Barroso highlighted that the African country could benefit further from closer ties with the EU. He encouraged Angola move ahead with an economic partnership deal with the EU, “which is already the country's third-largest trade partner and main source of imports”.
    "For Angola, it is evidently about exploring its exceptional economic potential transparently but also diversifying the economy to reduce dependence on oil, which represents 95 percent of export revenues and over 70 percent of tax income," he stated.
    According to Macahub, free news service based in Macau which supplies economic information,  the document,  which is expected to be signed soon, is not focused on funding the African country, but rather on a deeper level of cooperation for development.

    Source: Reuters/Macahub


    Link Read more
    Link New cooperation agreement
    Link Know more about EU-Angola


  22. Report on sustainable production shows further efforts are needed
    2012-04-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    According to a new Global Outlook Report published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the European Commission,  despite successful initiatives to promote sustainable consumption and production are flourishing around the globe, further efforts are needed to embed such practices in existing policy frameworks.  The Report, which has been released  at Stockholm+40, an event marking the 40th anniversary of the UN Conference on the Human Environment, presents an overview of efforts worldwide to shift towards sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns.
    While the EU Commissioner for Environment,  Janez Potočnik hopes this report  will encourage “fruitful partnerships worldwide", Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director , highlights that the report shows that governments are not starting from zero , as many of the transformations towards sustainable societies are flourishing within countries and communities across the globe. “Rio+20 offers the opportunity to accelerate and scale-up these policies and projects in order to secure the prospects and prosperity of seven billion people, rising to over nine billion by 2050."

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The report
    Link The EU and Rio+20


  23. Latest ACP-EU updates
    2012-04-23
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Food Security, Archive, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    Some of the most commented headlines from around the web last week focused on ACP-EU issues, notably on Africa. All seem to succumb Africa’s attractiveness:  Ritesh Kumar Singh and Sudhakar Kasture, experts in international trade,  say  that the economic slowdown is leading the EU and the US to resort to non-tariff barriers, with the aim of restricting imports into their territories and protect local employment. As emerging economies such as India and China  continue to see growth in their manufacturing sectors, “resource-rich Africa” appears to be catching the attention of global players as prospective strategic partner. “Gradually, Africa has stopped being considered as a dark continent and everybody wants a pie of the African market”, they state.
    One may link these statements to the latest declarations of Benjamin W. Mkapa, the former president of Tanzania and Chairperson of the South Centre, who (again) expressed doubts over whether or not EPA negotiations were driven by European interests.  This week, he goes deeper and presents the three possible scenarios for EU-EAC negotiations and the consequences thereof.  The elimination of tariffs on 80 per cent of trade, restrictions on the use of export taxes and quantitative restrictions, as well as the standstill clause will result in nothing less than Africa becoming a perpetual supplier of raw materials.
    Recent reports on the EU-Pacific relations seem more optimistic. As Pacific Islands are an alarming case of the adverse effects of climate change where rising sea levels have an impact upon every aspect of citizens' lives and hamper the economic development, the EU aims to develop a more comprehensive partnership, as this would successfully address issues of global importance, such as climate change, and which would go beyond the “mere” donor-recipient relationship currently in place. In this framework, the EU has decided to reinforce its response to these raising challenges and issue a Communication ''Towards a renewed EU–Pacific development partnership'.
    Speaking of the Caribbean region, the minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation of the Netherlands, Ben Knapen, has stressed  the positive aspects of the revised EU trade deals. His opinion appears to be positive, and he states that these will help enhance the self-reliance of the developing countries concerned. He notes that the revised Cotonou Agreement is more committed to combatting child labour, piracy, human trafficking and organised crime. Additionally, donor funding from Caricom, Australia, the Common Fund for Commodities and the EU will make three CARDI ( Caribbean Agriculture and Research Development Institute)  projects possible in Haiti. These  will work towards boosting the Haitian agricultural sector, seriously weakened following the earthquake two years ago.
    Some have however raised criticism over the question of whether should there be two Secretariats for the ACP group of states in the Caribbean region, namely Caricom and CARIFORUM, the latter comprising Caricom and the Dominican Republic . “The dilemma is that there are now two secretariats, namely the Caricom Secretariat, an inefficient underfunded bureaucracy, and a CARIFORUM Secretariat which is really a fictitious institution in which the number two spot is given to a national of the Dominican Republic […] The same person serves as Secretary General of both the Caricom and CARIFORUM secretariats […] should there be one or two secretariats and, if there are two secretariats, should there be one or two secretaries general?”
    While Caricom, which represents 15 Caribbean countries, is quite far along in the regional integration process and has the aim of creating an "economic union”, CARIFORUM is a group whose members are signatories to the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement.
    The main concerns on this issue are raised by the Dominican Republic, as “[it] has no input in the selection of the secretary general of CARIFORUM […] and has no say in the superintending of the EPA Implementation Unit”.
    Notably, one of the headlines of CTA Brussels dealt with the recent report by European Dignity Watch.  According to the organization,  two of the world’s largest abortion providers, have received funding from the EU’s development aid budget for projects related to Sexual and Reproductive Health, including abortions, among other projects.  
    Last but not least, some other issues that caught the attention of the development community focused on EU energy aid to developing world, as it may not cover biofuels; the EU support to Ivory Coast following the post-electoral crisis; and the EU’s commitment to supporting the goals set forth by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the EU Sustainable Energy For all Summit.

    Source: CTA


    Link Read all ACP-EU updates



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Please feel free to forward this newsletter to other interested colleagues.

Ms Isolina BOTO
Head
CTA Brussels Office
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Editor: Alejandra Morales (morales@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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