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Press Release
EC-ACP Ministerial meeting in the framework of the review of the Cotonou Agreement

Date of release : 24-02-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : EC-ACP Ministerial Meeting in the framework of the revision of the Cotonou Agreement

The ministerial negotiation meeting in the framework of the review of the Cotonou Agreement was held in Brussels until the end of the evening of Wednesday, 23 February. The meeting resulted in a political agreement on a revised text.

This agreement will be signed in June 2005.

During the press conference, held on Thursday 24 February 2005, Jean-Louis Schiltz, Luxembourg Minister for Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, welcomed the agreement that was reached. He described the discussions as frank and constructive, although difficult on some points.

The points of disagreement primarily concerned the long-term future financial framework, the International Criminal Court and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. An agreement was reached on all of these points.

As regards the long-term financial framework, the parties agreed on a text that provides for minimum financing for the upcoming period.

On the International Criminal Court, the Ministers drafted the text of the preamble and of a new article on measures for the ratification and implementation of the Treaty of Rome, which established the International Criminal Court.

Besides important elements relating to human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law, which were already part of the Cotonou Agreement, the Ministers added a clause on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

"This meeting was the first important north-south encounter of 2005. With this agreement, we are beginning 2005, which has to be the Year of Development, on the right foot. The agreement we have reached also demonstrates the quality of the relation between the ACP countries and the European Union," stated Minister Jean-Louis Schiltz.

Note: The ACP-EU Partnership Agreement was signed in Cotonou on 20 June 2000. It was concluded for a period of 20 years between the European Union and the 78 ACP countries (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific). The agreement provides for a review every five years. The current agreement concludes the first review.

This page was last modified on : 24-02-2005

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