The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/actualites/communiques/2005/06/25acp-schiltz/
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Jean-Louis Schiltz: "The eradication of poverty remains the principle objective of the revised Cotonou Agreement"
During a press conference at the close of the 30th session of the EU-ACP Council of Minister ministerial meeting, held in Luxembourg on 24 and 25 June, Jean-Louis Schiltz, Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, who co-presided the meeting on behalf of the European Union, stated that "the essential part of the 30th EU-ACP ministerial meeting is the signature of the revised Cotonou Agreement. The Cotonou Agreement was signed in 2000 and is revised every five years. When I say revision, it is cleat that the Cotonou acquis is not in question. The eradication of poverty remains the principle objective of the Agreement. The goal is to improve the quality and efficiency of our partnership."
According to Jean-Louis Schiltz, the partnership has two related and interdependent components: development and the political partnership: "In the 2000 Cotonou Agreement, political dialogue already represented a major part. We have again improved the quality of the dialogue, not only during our discussions today, but also in the revised version of the Agreement."
For the Minister, three items have contributed to the strengthening of the political partnership: "Firstly: we have included in the revised Agreement a cooperation clause on the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Secondly: the fight against terrorism.which did not take on the same importance in 2000 as it did in 2001, has today become a common objective of our political cooperation. And lastly, we have included in the Agreement a reference to the International Criminal Court with the acknowledgement of all the signatory parties that there will be no impunity for crimes against humanity."
Having noted that relations between the EU and the ACP countries have strengthened progressively since the Lomé I Agreements and latter ones, which brought about the 2000 Cotonou Agreement, Jean-Louis Schiltz expressed the determination of the European Union to continue sustainable and solid partnerships with the ACP countries over the long term. This is why the ‘development’ component is important alongside the political component."
For Minister Schiltz, the EU-ACP partnership is one which has spanned 30 years and which still has many fruitful years ahead of it: "The revised Cotonou Agreement fits in very well with the Year of Development - year with a capital Y - which 2005 promises to be, and which includes the United Nations Millennium Summit in September. The decision taken by EU Ministers for Development in May to attribute 0,56% of GDP to public development aid at the approach of 2010, and 0,7% at the approach of 2015, also constitutes one of the essential components making 2005 the Year of Development. I do not quote the Agreement in order to happily praise ourselves on behalf of the European Union. I do so because it is scandalous that in 2005 there are still human beings dying of hunger. This is why we have revised the Cotonou Agreement in terms of the political partnership and development."