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Friday, 23 July 2010

EU and ACP non-state actors insist on food security as a human right

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) and their partners from across Africa met at the 11th Regional Seminar of ACP-EU Economic and Social Interest Groups in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. They addressed the revision of the Cotonou Agreement and called for greater involvement of non-state actors in its implementation. They broached the challenging issues of Economic Partnership Agreements for the East African Community (EAC) and Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) regions, sustainable food security and the EU-Africa Strategy. The Cotonou Agreement still lacks both effective dissemination and timely information and consultation with non-state actors, namely when it comes to its five-year revision, said the delegates. The future revision of Cotonou should take into account the strengthening of social protection schemes in ACP countries, as well as better fiscal governance. Food security has to be considered a human right. To achieve this, food security clauses have to be introduced in the EU-Africa trade agreements and the agricultural sector needs to be placed at the centre of national and international development policies. Local and regional markets need to be supported, and farmers' organisations should be reinforced and consulted in decision-making policies. The EU-ACP non-state actors supported the conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreements under the condition that they include provisions aimed at the development of the beneficiary regions, namely the inclusion of economic, social and environmental provisions, timely information and involvement of non-state actors, promotion of infrastructures, modernisation of the agricultural sector and good economic governance.

Source: European Commission