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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Political talks kick off ACP parliamentary sessions

ACP parliamentary sessions opened on Thursday 22 November in Suriname with the Committee of Political Affairs hearing updates on critical situations in ACP states, including the crises in Somalia, Mali, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Resolutions on these topics are expected at the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly next week.
“During [ACP sessions], we are able to assist our member countries to solve the problems we have. There are also issues that need the solidarity of members,” said Hon. Thandeko Zinti Mnkandhla of Zimbabwe, who stood in for Samoa to chair the meeting of the Political Affairs Committee this morning.
Over the first three days of the sessions (22-24 November), parliamentary delegates from 79 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific strategised and prepared for joint sessions with European counterparts which  started on Saturday 25 November and continue until Thursday 29 November. Three standing committees – the Committee on Political Affairs; Economic Development, Finance and Trade; and Social Affairs and Environment held discussions before the full ACP plenary session kicked off on Saturday.
Talks focused especially on the European and ACP Group response to the Somali crisis, the occupation of Northern Mali, and the instability in the Great Lakes region – especially in East of the Democratic Republic of Congo- where armed rebel forces M23 continue to destabilise the resource-rich SADC member state, while neighbouring countries have been accused of backing them.


Source: ACP