Official visit to Brazil: Press Release

1- At the invitation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federative Republic of Brazil, HE Ernesto ARAUJO, HE Prof. Robert DUSSEY , Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad , made an official visit to Brasilia on 17 and 18 June 2019.

2- During this visit, the two Ministers exchanged views on issues of common bilateral, regional and multilateral interest.

3- Addressing bilateral issues, Ministers ARAUJO and DUSSEY welcomed the excellent relations of friendship and cooperation that have united the two countries since 1972 and reaffirmed their willingness to work closely together for the deepening and the development of these relationships.

4- Referring to the agreement establishing the Joint Commission for Cooperation between the Government of the Togolese Republic and the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil, signed on 18 August 1988 in Brasilia, the two Ministers undertook to organize in the future the first session of the latter, with a view to strengthening their collaboration in the political, economic, security, scientific, cultural and technical fields.

5- They also agreed on the forthcoming signing of several agreements including a memorandum of understanding between the Rio Branco Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Togolese Republic on cooperation in the field of diplomat training, an agreement in the field of air service and a framework agreement for cooperation in the field of security and defense.

6- Examining development issues, Minister DUSSEY announced that Togo has recently adopted a National Development Plan articulated around three axes concerning the establishment of a logistics hub of excellence and a development center. first-rate business in the West African sub-region, the development of agricultural processing, manufacturing and extractive industries poles and the consolidation of social development and strengthening of the mechanisms of inclusion.

7- In this regard, he invited the Brazilian side to support Togo in the implementation of this plan, through the mobilization of investments.

8- Also, the two Ministers agreed on the forthcoming organization in Brazil of a Togo-Brazil Economic Forum to be attended by the Head of State HE Mr. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE , President of the Togolese Republic.

9- Welcoming the cotton4 + initiative that has helped to strengthen the technical capacity of Togolese cotton farmers by Brazilian experts, Minister DUSSEY expressed the desire of the Togolese side to see this experience extend to other sectors, including coffee, cassava, cashew and cattle breeding.

10- Furthermore, the Togolese Minister took note of the Brazilian offer to assist African countries in controlling their borders, training pilots and sailors and expressed the willingness of the Togolese side to benefit of this offer.

11- Noting the need to strengthen cooperation between the private sectors of the two countries, the two Ministers pledged to work together for the organization of exchange and prospection visits for economic operators from Togo and Brazil and their participation. major meetings organized in one or the other party in the economic and related fields.

12- In this regard, the Togolese and Brazilian Ministers invited the chambers of commerce and other professional associations of businessmen of both countries to sign partnership agreements.

13- Speaking of regional issues, the two Ministers referred to the resurgence of acts of terrorism, radicalization, violent extremism and maritime piracy on the continent and particularly in West Africa.

14- In this regard, the Togolese Minister congratulated his counterpart for the Brazilian initiative to develop a joint strategy with West Africa on security in the South Atlantic and agreed with him on the forthcoming organization in Lomé of a high level meeting on security issues between West Africa and Brazil.

15. With regard to multilateral issues, the two Ministers stressed the importance of strengthening their collaboration within the framework of International Organizations, in particular by giving each other mutual support in the event of their candidacy for a position within the Organization. a given organization.

16- In this regard, the Togolese Minister informed his counterpart of Togo’s support for the candidacy of the Federative Republic of Brazil for the position of non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2022-2023.

17- In the margins of this interview, Prof. Robert DUSSEY led a conference on “Violent Extremism and Security Challenges in West Africa: What Role for Preventive Diplomacy? At the Rio Branco Institute of Brazil.

18- In his presentation, Minister Dussey, after recalling that extremist groups want to make West Africa a multi-hazard society, has demonstrated the limits of security and military response to the threat and listed some solutions based on preventive diplomacy to stem the evil.

19- In this regard, he recalled that preventive diplomacy requires governments to assume their roles and take the responsibility to protect their citizens, to make efforts to get closer to citizens and communities, to anticipate socio-political crises, to be able to stay at an equal distance from communities and religious denominations while respecting the principle of secularism while playing their role of sovereign regulator.

20- In addition, Minister DUSSEY was received in audience by Mr. Wilson WITZEL, Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Cooperation issues were at the center of their discussions.

21- In the framework of the execution of the axis 1 of the PND, the Minister DUSSEY and the governor WITZEL agreed the signature of the agreements of cooperation between the Togolese government and the State of Rio de Janeiro in the fields of trade , tourism and financial activities. An agreement between Lomé and Rio de Janeiro and another between the chambers of commerce of Togo and the State of Rio de Janeiro are also planned.

22- He finally exchanged with the leaders of the Afro-Brazilian communities and the Togolese diaspora in Brazil that he invited to take part in the Economic Forum of the African diaspora planned in Lomé on 28 and 29 November 2019.

23- At the end of this visit, the DUSSEY expressed to the Minister ARAUJO, to the Government and to the Brazilian people, its warm thanks for the quality of the hospitality and hospitality reserved for him and his delegation during their visit. stay in Brazil and invited his counterpart to visit the Togolese Republic.

24- HE Mr. Ernesto ARAUJO accepted this invitation, the terms of which will be agreed through diplomatic channels.

Done at Brasilia on June 18, 2019

#NewACPEU: Measuring Progress in Brussels

New ACP-EU Partnership: Chief negotiators assess progress made and move talks on to next stage

Brussels, 23 May 2019

Following the recent consultations at regional level with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, Chief Negotiators Commissioner Mimica and Togolese Minister Robert Dussey met in Brussels today to discuss the outline for the future ACP-EU agreement.

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development and EU’s Chief Negotiator, Neven Mimica, said: “The agreement is taking shape. It is time to step up our efforts and speed up our progress to deliver as expected. Today’s discussions on the regional partnerships bring us a step closer to this new and stronger cooperation we are aiming for”.

Togo’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Africa integration, also ACP Chief Negotiator and Chair of the Ministerial Central Negotiating Group, Robert Dussey, said: “We started this negotiation in September last year and have made steady progress since then. The consultations with the three regions were beneficial in so far as giving a good idea of the needs for each region. We look forward to concluding an Agreement which is focused on the current and future needs of our Member countries.

Next steps

While talks on the specific regional partnerships progress, the EU and ACP negotiating teams will continue their work on the text of the agreement that covers all 79 countries (also referred to as “the common foundation”). Upcoming negotiation sessions will notably focus on the institutional set-up. The aim is to make maximum progress before the next chief negotiators’ meeting, due to take place in the second half of July.


The Cotonou Agreement currently governing EU-ACP relations is due to expire in 2020. Negotiations on a new ACP-EU Partnership were launched in New York on 28 September 2018 in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.

The initial rounds of talks mainly focused on the common foundation at EU-ACP level. This common foundation sets out the values and principles that bring the EU and ACP countries together and indicates the strategic priority areas that both sides intend to work on together.

In addition, the future agreement is planned to include specific, action-oriented regional pillars focusing on each region’s needs. The first round of consultations on the regional pillars has now concluded.

The future ACP-EU Partnership will serve to further cement the close political ties between the EU and ACP countries on the world stage. Together, they represent more than half of UN member countries and over 1.5 billion people.


  Eswatini, 04 May 2019


His Excellency the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of ESWATINI,

Honourable Ministers,

Mr. President of the Commission of the African Union,

Mr. Secretary General of the ACP States, Dr. Patrick GOMES,

The Chief Negotiator for the European Union in the post-Cotonou Agreement,

Excellencies the Ambassadors,

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

To start with, I wish to thank the King of Eswatini, the Government and the people of our host country for their courage of hospitality. Since we arrived in this African land of the ACP States, our impressions are very good as regards their great sense of hospitality. I have done in your beautiful country what Alioune DIOP, a convinced great pan-African, founder of the Magazine Présence Africaine, who wanted Africa to be present on the world stage, called ” the intimate experience of African life “. The experience of your astonishing sense of otherness has awakened in me my pan-Africanist intuitions and passions back to my earliest childhood.

I would also like to thank the various delegations here. Your strong involvement in these regional consultations is undoubtedly a good reflection of your interest in the ongoing negotiations. The stakes are common, and so is your commitment.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Pacific region, which held its regional consultations on 25th and 26th February 2019 in Apia, Samoa, is directly negotiating the EU-Pacific pillar of the new agreement with the EU. The Caribbean region has followed the same pattern and held its regional consultations on 15th April in Kingston, Jamaica. The EU-Africa Regional Consultations this week are announcing at the African level the formal start of the negotiations on the EU-Africa pillar of the future ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, even though in recent months excellent technical work has been done on the negotiations at the African Union level.

The specific characteristics of Africa in terms of challenges, potentials, priorities, development frameworks (commercial, economic and human) and partnership with the outside are known. There is a long history of partnership between the EU and Africa that was reaffirmed in Abidjan in 2017. Consistent with the current EU-Africa partnership and in a new spirit, Africa is called to negotiate the EU-Africa pillar of the post-Cotonou Agreement.

The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) being created in Africa is a qualitative evolution, which, in the near future, will give a new face to the intra-African and international trade in Africa.

The pillar of the EU-Africa post-Cotonou Agreement must be in line with the strategic orientations of the CFTA, the AU 2063 Agenda and the EU-Africa Summit in Abidjan, as well as with the clearly stated desire for development in Africa. Africa must broaden its trade with Europe; raise the level of political dialogue with the EU on issues as crucial as security, peace, human rights, African cultural properties still existing in Europe, the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change and migration.

The topics that will be at the center of the negotiations in the EU-Africa protocol of the agreement are of vital importance for Africa and the ACP Group. Africa, must conduct its regional negotiations with professionalism and a high of sense of responsibility. Through our work, on an African scale, we must prove to the ACP Group that it made the right choice at the right time by opting for autonomy and freedom of action of the regions in negotiating the regional pillars. The moment is historic and the work must be done with an ethics of responsibility. I am convinced that the African negotiators are aware of their responsibility.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to finish with a thought of Kwame NKRUMAH that we Africans must never lose sight of: United, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world “.

Thank you for your attention

Post-Cotonou Agreement 2020: Continuation of ACP-EU negotiations in Kingston.

Negotiations between the ACP Group of States and the European Union are continuing to reach a post-Cotonou agreement by 2020.
This time, the discussions are taking place in Jamaica after N’Djamena and Samoa. None of the geographical regions concerned are forgotten.

In Kingston, there are the same interlocutors including the Central Negotiating Group (GCN), the European Commissioner for Development, Neven Mimica and Robert Dussey, the chief negotiator for the ACP countries.

“Coming to Jamaica I am African, but I also feel deeply Caribbean,” said the Togolese diplomat, speaking at the debates. This Caribbean island is in fact mostly populated by descendants of African slaves.

Discussions are proceeding at a rapid pace to reach agreement by 2020 and perhaps even before.

Mr. Dussey pointed out, however, that despite the progress made, ‘both parties have also recognized the need to speed up negotiations so that the bulk of the negotiations can be concluded by the summer of 2019’

He praised the merits of a future agreement based on strategic regional priorities.

The great novelty is indeed based on the needs and specificities of each geographical area, unlike the current one, the 79 countries forming the ACP bloc are not uniform. The demands of the Pacific or Caribbean countries have nothing to do with those of Africa.

The purpose of the talks is to reach a new agreement consisting of a common core and three regional partnerships.

The common ground, applicable to all members of the partnership, will list objectives, priorities and general principles and will enhance cooperation at the international level.

Regional partnerships will be the center of gravity and will set specific regional priorities for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, in line with strengthened regional dynamics and the increased importance of regional organizations.

European, African, Caribbean and Pacific countries conclude second round of talks on a new ambitious partnership

Brussels, 4 April 2019

Today, chief negotiators emphasised the progress made while launching the next phase of the negotiations. This new step will ultimately lead to the creation of tailor-made pillars with each region, which are among the novelties to be introduced in the future ACP-EU Agreement.

Today, in N’djamena, Chad, the EU’s Chief Negotiator, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: “We are on track with the drafting of the foundation text, and we are now pleased to embarkon a new path with the negotiation of EU-Africa, EU-Caribbean and EU-Pacific pillars. These pillars will not only fuel our cooperation in bringing new dynamics to it, but they will ultimately allow us to achieve more in responding accurately to the needs and challenges facing each partner.”

The ACP Chief Negotiator and Chair of the Ministerial Central Negotiating Group who is also the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Africa integration of Togo Professor Robert Dussey, said: We have taken stock of the negotiations launched six months ago. I am happy to report that substantial progress has been made and we remain focused to ensure that the Agreement will stand the test of time and serve the needs of our people by tackling present and emerging global challenges.”

Next steps

While the drafting process continues to run its course, EU and ACP countries will carry on the regional pillars consultations with each region. As illustrated during the high-level dialogue with Pacific leaders on 26 February, such consultations provide a privileged space to further discuss the needs and priorities faced by each region. Similar meetings with Caribbean and African partners are due to take place soon.


The Cotonou Agreement currently governing EU-ACP relations is due to expire in 2020. Negotiations on a new ACP-EU Partnership were launched in New York on 28 September 2018 in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly. The two first series of talks mainly focused on the common foundation at EU-ACP level. This contains the values and principles that bring the EU and ACP countries together. It also indicates the strategic priority areas that the two sides intend to prospectively work on together. In the future agreement, on top of the foundation there will be three action-oriented regional pillars to focus on each region’s specific needs. Through the future partnership, EU and ACP countries will seek closer political cooperation on the world stage. Together, they represent more than half of all UN member countries and unite over 1.5 billion people.

For more information

Q&A on the future EU-ACP partnership

EU Negotiation directives

ACP Negotiation directives

Press Release: Presentation of the Road Map for Togolese Abroad

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad, HE Prof. On April 1, 2019, Robert DUSSEY presented the “Government Roadmap for Togolese Abroad”. The roadmap of the Government for Togolese Abroad meets the vision of the President of the Republic, HE Mr. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, that of ensuring a better organization of the Togolese diaspora for its more appropriate involvement in the efforts national development. Its mission is to create the conditions for a more inclusive involvement of the Togolese Diaspora in the work of national construction.

In keeping with this vision, the government’s actions in favor of the Togolese diaspora revolve around three (03) major axes, namely:

valuing the human, economic and social capital of the diaspora;
strengthening communication between the Government and the diaspora;
Improving the protection and defense of the interests of Togolese abroad.
The execution of these strategic axes is planned in two main components: Priority Actions Program (PAP) and Medium and Long Term Program (LTPP).

The Priority Actions Program refers to two main axes, namely: enhancing the human, economic and social capital of the diaspora and strengthening communication between the Government and the diaspora.

In implementing the first strategic axis dedicated to enhancing the human, economic and social capital of the diaspora, the government intends to achieve the following three objectives:

mobilize the investments, skills and know-how of Togolese abroad;
implement the program of co-implementation of local development projects in the regions of origin of migrants;
develop a solidarity volunteer project for development.
With regard to the implementation of the second strategic axis dedicated to strengthening communication between the Government and the diaspora, the Government will pursue the following three objectives:

create structures that can mobilize and support the return of the Togolese diaspora. These include working to set up the High Council of Togolese from outside;
to map the Togolese diaspora and its distribution in the world;
organize an economic forum of Togolese from outside.
Under the strategic axis 3 on the improvement of the defense and the protection of the interests of Togolese living abroad, included in the actions of the Medium and Long Term Program (LTA), the Government will put the focus on the negotiation of bilateral agreements with countries in which strong Togolese communities reside and those offering attractive employment opportunities in order to better supervise Togolese labor migration in accordance with international labor standards. The Government will also work to establish a Migration and Diaspora Observatory and to facilitate the consular and administrative procedures of members of its diaspora in the countries of residence.

It should be noted that several projects in favor of the diaspora are included in this roadmap.

Moreover, it must be remembered that the Government has already had to carry out several actions for the Togolese diaspora. Among these, the establishment of the Togolese leadership from outside by decree in 2005, among others, can be considered; the creation in the same year of the High Commissioner for Returnees and Humanitarian Action (HCRAH); the development and implementation of the Diaspora program including the use of diaspora skills (2010-2014); the creation in 2014 of the interministerial committee for the coordination and monitoring of migration and development activities; the establishment of a diaspora unit to accompany Togolese from abroad who carry projects in their implementation; the designation since 2015 of focal points responsible for the diaspora in the diplomatic and consular missions of Togo; touring encounters with the diaspora in 2013 and 2014; the organization of the major events of the diaspora in 2014; the visa exemption for Togolese foreigners with dual nationality (2014); the organization of the first edition of the “Successful Diaspora” week (2016).

On another note, the Government attaches great importance to the Togolese diaspora in the perspective of the contribution of all Togolese and Togolese women to the national construction, in this case for the implementation of the National Development Plan (PND).

Also, the Government intends to organize from May 2019 actions to raise awareness of Togolese abroad on this new vision including the Economic Forum Togolese Abroad scheduled for 28 and 29 November 2019.

Done at Lomé on 1 April 2019

Speech by Minister Robert Dussey at the launch of the roadmap for the togolese abroad


Excellency Ladies and Gentlemen Ambassadors,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Representatives of International Organizations and Organizations of Civil Society,

Mr. Secretary General,

Mr. Director of Cabinet,

Ladies and Gentlemen Directors,

Ladies and Gentlemen Division Chiefs,

Dear friends of the press,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is with a real pleasure that I address you on this day of launching the roadmap that the Head of State, HE Mr. Faure ESSOZIMNA GNASSINGBE, has kindly entrusted to us in the context of strengthening the fiber patriotic that binds Togo to its diaspora.

By deciding to change the name of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, adding: Togolese Abroad,

the President of the Republic wanted to show the importance and the role of the diaspora in the development of Togo.

There is no nation, teach us Ernest RENAN and today Jean BAECHLER, without a sense of community of destiny, without a national conscience.

Fate among the Stoics is absolute, so Stoicism has a deterministic conception of the cosmos. Destiny is the causal chain of events. Cicero writes in his treatise on divination: “I call fate (fotum) what men call the heimarmene, that is, the order and the series of causes, when a cause linked to another by itself produces an effect (…) we understand that fate is not what superstition means but what science says, namely the eternal cause of things, under which past facts have arrived, the presents arrive and the futures must arrive “.

The universality of destiny does not exclude human action. He integrates it into his consolidations.

The Togolese nation is a community of citizens and the Togolese community of the diaspora is a significant part of our social contract and forms the community of destiny. The number of Togolese living abroad is estimated today at more than two million people and the strongest Togolese communities are reported in neighboring countries (Benin, Ghana, Burkina Faso), Nigeria, Gabon, Chad , in Niger, Equatorial Guinea, Europe (France, Germany, Belgium, etc.) and in certain countries of the American continent (Canada, United States, etc.).

The roadmap to be presented at this ceremony by the Director of Togolese Abroad makes the protection and defense of the interests of Togolese abroad a national priority. Compatriots, because one of the basic needs of every human being is the need for security, wherever they are in the world, must feel safe and protected. Our compatriots in the diaspora have the right to expect more protection from the motherland.

The implementation of the roadmap will enable our country to make the diaspora, a strategic partner of the National Development Plan (NDP), including through the promotion of skills and activities transfers, the strengthening of relations between national actors and Togolese expatriates, and the mobilization of resources.

The Government’s new policy towards foreign compatriots is based on a deep conviction: our national construction project is a forward-looking project that needs the support of all. The diaspora is already playing a role, but it can still do better.

I remind you, for the record, that the Togolese money transfers from the outside to the homeland have continued to grow exponentially since 2010 to reach nearly 423 million US dollars in the year 2017. represents, on average, about 10% of our country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The Government is working to create the conditions for greater involvement of the diaspora in the work of national construction. This is the place to recall the actions that the Government has already had to carry out in favor of the diaspora. I can mention, among other things, the creation of the Togolese Direction of the outside by decree in 2005; the development and implementation of the Diaspora program, including the use of diaspora skills and the carrying out of studies (2010-2014); the creation in 2014 of an interministerial committee to coordinate and monitor migration and development activities; setting up a diaspora cell to accompany the Togolese from outside with projects; the designation since 2015 of focal points responsible for the diaspora in the diplomatic and consular missions of Togo; the diaspora meetings in 2013 and 2014, which will be renewed

this year ; the organization of the major national meetings by geographical area of ​​the diaspora in 2014; the visa exemption for Togolese foreigners with dual nationality in 2014 and the organization of the first edition of the “Successful Diaspora Week” in 2016.

Moreover, the Government is working to strengthen the positive freedom of Togolese in the diaspora wherever they are, wherever they work. The freedom of the citizen, as Amartya SEN teaches us (Indian, Nobel Prize of economy in 1998 and philosopher), is a social and political responsibility. The President of the Republic and the Togolese Government are well aware of this fundamental truth.

On 28 and 29 November 2019, the Government will organize the first Togolese Foreign Economic Forum, which will provide an appropriate framework for the Government and the diaspora members carrying out projects to explore the financing capacities of Togolese abroad and to mobilize them for the implementation of the PND.

Living the Togolese diaspora,

Long live Togo,

Thank you.

Diplomag 18th is available to download!

The year 2018 is a thing of the past, the new one has only just begun, the one to come is already on our heels. Vladimir Jankélévitch once asked himself: «How can such short years be made with such long days? Time is flight and place of deployment of human existence. The human being is born in time, lives in time, acts in time and dies in time. The dimension of temporality linked to action is very essential in what the philosopher Hannah Arendt calls the «domain of human affairs». Through our actions, wherever we are, whoever we are, whatever we want, we impact the world in a variety of ways.

The history of the world in a not insignificant proportion is that of man and his action. That of Togo is that of his sons, their actions and interactions, commitments and expectations. At the diplomatic level, the year 2018 is marked in Togo by a series of actions carried out under the impetus of the President of the Republic, His Excellency Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, whose vision and spirit of anticipation allowed to improve the international influence of the country.

Togo has not only put its leadership at the service of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) over the past year, but also organized and hosted major international meetings, and currently chairs the Central Negotiating Group of the ACP Group for the post-Cotonou, the Cotonou Agreement coming to an end in February 2020. This issue of DIPLOMAG looks back on some strong sequences of the Togolese diplomacy during the year 2018. This is for the Togolese diplomacy of an opportunity to write oneself in a retrospective perspective. This editorial highlights in a synthetic approach two key moments of the diplomatic action of Togo in 2018 and the perspectives for this new year.

Click here to download

ACP Pacific High Level Meeting in Apia

Robert Dussey, Togolese Minister of Foreign Affairs and Head of Negotiations Post-Cotonou ACP 2020, participates in the two-day meeting, which starts today in Apia, the capital of Samoa, with the aim of engaging in-depth discussions and dialogue with the EU with a view to finalizing a new agreement between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

The dialogue is convened as part of the political consultations between the different ACP regions and the EU on the negotiations for a post-Cotonou agreement, in accordance with the processes approved by the ACP Group and the EU at the start of the negotiations in November 2018.

On the sidelines of this meeting, Minister Robert Dussey had a meeting with Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi.

Goodbye dinner in honor of US Ambassador David Gilmour

‘Action does not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action’. Quoting American author William James, Foreign Minister Robert Dussey paid a warm tribute on Monday night to David Gilmour, the US ambassador, who has completed his mission in Togo.

Il a salué ‘non seulement le diplomate exceptionnel que vous êtes, mais aussi l’ensemble des actions que vous avez entreprises au cours de votre mission  au côté du gouvernement en faveur de ses populations’.

Les Togolais ont, et garderont de vous, l’image d’un diplomate exemplaire, a souligné M. Dussey. 

‘History is the ally of men who forge history because they know how to remember them and their actions. Posterity will tell you and diplomatic memories of our two countries: an American diplomat by the name of David Gilmour lived in Togo from 2015 to 2019, concluded the Togolese diplomat.

ACP-EU negotiations: kick-off, challenges and type of agreement considered

By S.E.Pr. Robert DUSSEY, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration of Togo, Chief Negotiator of the ACP Group for Post-Cotonou

The kick-off of negotiations leading to a new ACP-European Union (EU) partnership agreement replacing the Cotonou Agreement, which expires in February 2020, was given on 28 September 2018 in New York, USA on the sidelines of the 73rd Ordinary Session of the UN General Assembly by decision of both parties. With this solemn ceremony, the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) formally endorsed their option for continuity. The world has changed profoundly and the future agreement will have to incorporate a number of realities if the ACP-EU partnership really wants to be in tune with the spirit of the times.

The current context is that of the decentring of the world, the world has no center and peripheries and, to put it bluntly, the West and Europe are no longer the center of the world. The world is today defined by a multipolarity carried by a diversity of actors who work to weigh on its destiny. Taking into account this historical development makes it possible to change the ACP-EU partnership to include it in a new logic: that of a strict equality characterized by justice and fairness of the terms of cooperation. The ACP expects more equity and less imbalance in the future partnership agreement. The limits of the Cotonou Agreement in terms of imbalance in the ratio of trade are known to all.

One of the difficulties of the ACP-EU partnership, from the beginning to the present, is the productive inequality of both parties. The European economy has a large production force whereas the ACP has a very weak productive capacity. The unequal “capability”, to use the expression of Amartya Sen *, which characterizes the economies of both parties is problematic. The advantage of the EU in terms of the possibility of trade with the ACP is much greater than that of the ACP Group.

While in principle the European market is open to ACP member countries, the latter do not yet sufficiently benefit commercially. The ACP’s weak productive capacity does not allow them to take better advantage of the opportunities offered by the opening of the European market. Free access to the European market is an asset for the ACP, but working to extract more profits from the European market remains a challenge. The ACP must work to strengthen their productive capacities and increase the level of their exports to the EU.

The ACP equilibrium requirement in the terms of the future partnership agreement is known to the EU, but ensuring that this desired and expressed balance becomes a reality remains a challenge. Hence the substantive work that must be done and is still done on the side of the ACP. ACP experts and negotiators work daily on the negotiations internally. This ant work deserves to be done because the current ACP negotiators are very aware of their historical responsibility. Negotiating on behalf of 79 countries without a high sense of responsibility would be a serious mistake that future generations of the ACP Group can not understand or forgive.

The negotiations are conducted with full responsibility and will lead to a single common-pillar partnership agreement with three specific regional pillars. The common basis of the agreement will be the objectives, priorities and general principles of the future agreement and the multilateral action of the EU and the ACP Group on the world stage. The three regional pillars will be specialized partnerships between the EU and each of the geographical areas of the ACP, namely Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, within the framework of the ACP-EU partnership. The agreement envisaged, by its structure, marks a break with the past.

The aim is to reach the signing of a new ACP-EU partnership agreement by 2020 at the latest, the negotiations which, according to Antoine Pecquet (1704-1762) in his book Speech on the Art of Negotiating, prepare “Big events” must be carried out at a steady pace.

Logically, the first phase of negotiations will allow both parties to agree on the structure of the future agreement and especially on the format of the organization and the holding of the different sequences of negotiations.

The second phase of the negotiations will focus on the common basis of the agreement. It will allow the parties to agree on the guiding principles, general objectives and overall priorities of their partnership.

The third phase of the negotiations will focus on the three pillars or regional partnerships. The final phase of the negotiations will be the consolidation of all the achievements of the process, the re-examination of any outstanding issue or subject and the conclusion of the negotiations. The process looks a bit long but we will get there. “To hope is not foolishness, but a testament to wisdom,” says Polish philosopher Henryk Skolimowski

AFRICA-EU RELATIONS: A mixture of fascination and mistrust, By Robert Dussey


By Robert Dussey, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration of Togo

On the 5th and 6th of June will take place the Development Days of Europe. As in every edition, this high mass, whose main theme this year will be “Women and girls at the forefront of sustainable development: protecting, empowering, and investing,” will bring together development actors to discuss the key challenges that lie ahead. pose to the world. For obvious reasons, Africa should be on the agenda.

Europe and Africa are, in fact, two continents that geography has brought together, but a painful history has, in a way, moved away. The consequence of this story is that the relationship between the two blocks has always been marked by a mixture of fascination and mistrust. The feeling of a bound destiny but of an impossible alliance predominates. The outcry aroused in part of French-speaking Africa following the inauguration, on May 9, of the “new Place de l’Europe” in Gorée, emblematic place of the transatlantic slave trade, perfectly illustrates the complexity of this relationship.

This project to renovate a historic site, which was originally inaugurated by former European Commission President Romano Prodi in 2003, was largely funded by the European Union. But this gesture, which wanted to be friendly, was considered awkward by some, and scandalous by others. This relationship of distrust can no longer last because the risk it poses on both continents is now too high. Despite flattering nominal growth rates for a decade, poverty remains high in Africa.

Inequalities are widening and population growth continues. In rural areas, extreme weather events are increasing. They cause famine and conflict, and push many young idle into the arms of terrorist groups that are now swarming on the continent and threaten the stability of African states. In the urban areas, thousands of young people, sometimes graduates, but underemployed or unemployed, are hostages of political systems that, for all sorts of reasons, good or bad, are unable to offer them the conditions for a better life. . Not surprisingly, these young Africans are on the road to European exile, often risking their lives. Terrorism, the consequences of climate change, illegal immigration, are major challenges for Africa, and therefore for Europe.

This Europe is all the more concerned by the destiny of Africa as there have always been important interests. These interests, the legitimate pursuit of which leads too often to alliances and supports whose consequences are harmful for the African populations as well as, more and more, for the European citizens. This is why we must renew the software of the Africa-Europe relationship. On the European side, this has historically been limited to institutional links, to the abstract promotion of great democratic principles, and to the sometimes cynical defense of commercial positions. It is now necessary to establish bonds of trust with African youth who are more informed, aware of global issues and willing to take part in world affairs.

The record of 30 years of electoral democracy in Africa is disappointing, as it has been implanted in fragile nation states. Perhaps it is time to work to strengthen these nation states. On the African side, almost five decades after Independence, efforts must be made to establish a relationship of trust with Europe. On this point, African diplomats have an eminent role to play in explaining the African vision of the world to Europe, find points of convergence, defend projects of common interests, and work together for the advent of a world more stable, because more just.

Togo – Norway: Robert Dussey meets his Mrs Eriksen Søreide in Oslo

The Togolese diplomat, Robert Dussey, met his Norwegian counterpart, Ine Eriksen Søreide, on Friday, 09 November in Oslo.

The discussion focused on economic cooperation, security and stability issues in Africa.

Mr Dussey participated yesterday at the Nordic-Africa Summit whose theme was the promotion of the blue economy, maritime activities and new energies. So many topics that interest Togo whose ambition is to become a logistics hub.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs was the guest on the morning of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) for a conference on violent extremism and security challenges in West Africa.

Participants wondered about the role that can play preventive diplomacy.

Mr. Dussey was joined by Øystein H. Rolandsen and Jenny Lorentzen, researchers at PRIO. Founded in 1959, this institute conducts research on conditions conducive to peaceful relations between states. The PRIO analyzes how conflicts break out and how they can be solved, but also how companies deal with crises and crisis threats.

PRIO develops theoretical knowledge and refines research methodologies.

This academic excellence must have a significant impact on societies, say the leaders of the institute.

The Situation in the Middle East And Lessons for Africa

Four axes/blocks in the current Middle East

Currently there are four main political players in the Middle East (excluding Israel).

The first, and until lately the strongest, is the Iranian – Shia axis. This Axis is stretching between Iran (its center) in the east, through Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and a proxy in the Gaza strip (Palestinian Islamic Jihad). Short of the last one, in all the other areas Iran is leaning heavily on local Shia communities.

The second is the Sunni moderateblock. This block includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia (those two are considered as the leaders of this block), Jordan, The Palestinian Authority, UAE and the rest of the Gulf States (short of Qatar).

The third is the Sunni radicalblock. This block includes Turkey, Qatar, Sudan and Hamas (in the Gaza Strip). This block identifies itself with the Muslim Brothers (an Egyptian Ideological movement that was established in Cairo in 1929 and is outlawed now in Egypt).

The fourth is the Sunni radicalNon-State Actor – Al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State in Syria and the Levant” (ISIL). This group (not an axis though) is nearly defeated in the Middle East. Against this defeat, you can see their attempts to infiltrate to Africa.

Conflicts between those axes/blocks

There are two main conflicts between those groups that are currently casting a shadow over the Middle East. The first is between the Shia axis and the Sunni moderate block. The second is between the Sunni moderate block and the Sunni radical block.

The conflict between the Shia axis and the Sunni moderate block is taking place in some different places in the Middle East – in Syria (where actually the Sunnis were beaten), in Lebanon, Iraq and the most active front – Yemen.

The conflict between the moderate Sunni group and the Radical Sunni group is taking place in the Persian (Arab) Gulf between Saudi Arabia and the UAE on one end and Qatar on the other. Another front is in the Horn of Africa where Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt are competing against Qatar, Turkey and the Sudan in an attempt to reach more influence.

Common denominators between the Middle East and Africa that makes both “Terror Friendly”

Terror is always leaning on an ideological agenda (usually radical Islam). However, some “environments” are more “friendly” to terror. Among the conditions that help terror spread we can find the presence of “Failed states”, weakness of the central government, lack of social cohesiveness between the center and the periphery and the above all – economic frustration. All those elements can be found in both the Middle East and Africa.

So what can be done?

There are some lessons that Africa can draw from the Israeli experience in fighting terror. First,a holistic approach that brings together military sticks and economic carrots. Second is determination (the war on terror is always longer than a conventional war). Third is deterrence (does deterrence actually work against terror?). Fourth is an attempt to build a national unity. The fifth is an attempt to create partnerships in the war against terror (G 5 in the Sahel or Amisom in Somalia).

Armenian and Togo foreign ministers discuss cooperation issues

Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan met today with Foreign Minister of Togo Robert Dussey, who arrived in Armenia to participate in the 17th summit of La Francophonie.

During the meeting the parties discussed prospects on starting close cooperation in different directions, referred to the necessity of activation trade-economic ties and starting regional partnership.

The two ministers attached significance to the multisided format of partnership and the platform of Francophone Organization in particular for the discussion of different issues of mutual interest.

The ministers also exchanged ideas over the agenda of the 17th summit of the OIF.

ACP-EU negotiations: Taking the road to prosperity together

Talks on a new agreement between the ACP and the EU will only bear fruit if both parties take the road to prosperity together, writes the ACP’s chief negotiator, Robert Dussey, on the post-Cotonou talks.

Prof. Robert Dussey is the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and African Integration of Togo, and the Chief Negotiator of the ACP Group for the post-Cotonou agreement.

The scheduled expiry of the Cotonou Agreement in 2020 is not the end of the ACP-EU partnership. Both parties are currently in discussion and negotiations for a new partnership agreement will begin on 1 October. The novelty of the envisaged agreement lies in its structure. The agreement will have a common basis applicable to all of the partnership members and three regional partnerships specific to Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

The post-Cotonou agreement has to help to achieve sustainable development in the ACP countries. The right of ACP peoples to development, the SDGs, the Paris Agreement on climate change and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 must be at the heart of the future ACP-EU partnership agreement.

We have reason to hope, but hope for the future of our partnership is only legitimate if it is based on the commitment of both parties to take the road to prosperity together. The ACP-EU partnership can only keep its promises if it does not negate the development efforts of the ACP countries themselves or cause the dismantling of their young industries and economies.

We need more ambition and imagination to understand the new challenges of our cooperation, which we hope and want to be more productive, fairer and more responsible. The ACP countries are less hoping for charity than justice and equity in the terms of the future partnership agreement.

The topics to include on the negotiating agenda are varied and will touch on areas such as the economy and investment, development cooperation, research and technological innovation, climate change, the war on poverty, security, political dialogue and migration. Having met the expectations of both parties on the common basis of the agreement, negotiations on the three regional pillars will be launched. The objective is to reach an agreement which fully takes account of the realities and problems of every geographical area of the ACP Group.

The advantage of this approach is that it offers every region of the ACP countries the opportunity to influence, or, if necessary, to take charge of the technical negotiations on its strategic priorities. This approach is in line with the desire of the various regions, particularly that clearly expressed by Africa to have a completely decomplexed partnership with Europe in a strictly equal relationship.

Migration is likely to be a key point of the EU-Africa pillar of the agreement but it must not circumvent the relevance of the debate or negatively impact the terms of our future cooperation agreement.

Moreover, we remain convinced that the horizon of the ACP-EU partnership remains open. The upcoming negotiations are fast approaching. The challenges are essential ones and the stakes are high. A truly fair and just partnership agreement between Europe and the ACP countries will have, certainly for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, benefits that previous agreements have never had. I would like to finish with a thought by Gaston Berger: “Tomorrow will not be like yesterday. It will be something new and will depend on us.”