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Interview: Professor Robert Dussey, chief negotiator of the ACP Group

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

February 2019
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Friday, 12 October 2018

Interview: Professor Robert Dussey, chief negotiator of the ACP Group

The process leading to the post-Cotonou agreement in 2020 was launched last Friday in New York by the countries of the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) and the European Union (EU). At the meeting, Prof. Robert DUSSEY (Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration of Togo) was appointed Chief Negotiator of the ACP Group. The meeting was also attended by Neven Mimica (European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development). What is the process leading to the post-Cotonou agreement? What is a Chief Negotiator? How long will the negotiations last? .... These are just some of the questions put to Prof. DUSSEY in an interview with the Savoir News Agency. Your Excellency Minister Prof. Robert DUSSEY; in New York, on Friday the ACP and EU countries launched the process that should lead to the post-Cotonou agreement in 2020. What is this process? Prof. Robert DUSSEY: The ACP Group and the European Union are preparing to renew the terms of their partnership with the finalising of a new agreement. The ceremony that took place in New York on Friday between the ACP and the European side, in parallel to the 73rd ordinary session of the United Nations General Assembly, and to which you allude, officially launches and endorses the negotiations that will lead to the signing of a post-Cotonou agreement. After this ceremony, the actual technical negotiations can begin, and they will in fact begin in early October. You have been appointed as Chief Negotiator of the ACP Group. What does that mean? And how many months or years will the negotiations last? My responsibility is to lead the ACP Central Negotiating Group (CNG), which is responsible for supervising and guiding the negotiation process. As the first head of the CNG and Chief Negotiator, I supervise and lead the negotiations of the ACP Group. The Ambassadors, and other actors in charge of direct negotiations with the European side on technical and priority issues, work under my responsibility. Regarding the second part of your question about time, the key point is that the Cotonou Agreement expires in February 2020, so we need to sign the new ACP-EU Partnership Agreement by that deadline.

Source: savoirnews.net