Presidential 2020 : Meeting with international electoral observers

Welcome words from Prof. Robert DUSSEY, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad, on the occasion of the meeting with international electoral observers

 

Lomé, February 19, 2020

 

Ladies and Gentlemen Ministers,
Excellencies Ladies and Gentlemen Ambassadors,
Ladies and Gentlemen Representatives of International Organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen Representatives of International Non-Governmental Organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen Experts on electoral matters,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

The international observers are in Togo for a noble mission and I would like to wish them, on behalf of the President of the Republic, H.E. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, cordial welcome and a good working stay in our country. Those among the group who are not new to electoral observation in Togo certainly remember the astonishing report of our country and the Togolese to otherness. For those who arrived for the first time, I would like to assure them of the hospitality of Togo and the compatriots.

International observers,

Your presence on Togolese soil in the context of the presidential election, the first round of which will take place on February 22, 2020, clearly reflects a double desire, first the government’s desire for transparency, then that of you international observers to accompany the democratic experience of our country in its irreversible drive towards perfection. The Government does not hide its pride in seeing you so actively mobilized around the process.
Your glances of foreign and impartial actors will help the balance sheet to a holistic and equitable apprehension of the whole process. Impartiality, Adam SMITH teaches us in his work The Theory of Moral Sentiments requires that, apart from national gazes, we take into account “distant points of view”, “eyes of humanity”, and c It is in this dynamic of “open impartiality” that your presence in Togo is part of.

Ladies and gentlemen

An election is an opportunity to reaffirm the democratic flame. Armed with this conviction, our country has put all the odds on its side in order to align its electoral consultations with democratic requirements. The bet and the Government is working to keep it, it is to allow our democracy to grow by working for the absolute impartiality of the ballot. The election on Saturday 22 February is very open in view of the plurality of candidates. The electoral campaign started on February 06 and ends tomorrow on February 20, 2020.
Sincerity is a prerequisite for the credibility of an election and the poll will be held in the direction of truth and strict sincerity. It is a 2-round election after the last reform of the Basic Law of our country and, for the first time, an election open to Togolese in the diaspora. These two major developments constitute the great novelty of the ballot and mark the start of a new history of Togolese democracy in constant self-improvement and in continuous steps towards great maturity.

Ladies and gentlemen

Many observers with better expertise and proven experience in the electoral register support the process. The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) today accredited 19 civil society organizations and 2 institutions of the Republic to observe the elections. In terms of international observers, several international partner organizations as well as a range of actors are accredited.

A total of 280 international election observers from international organizations, diplomatic missions near our country and the foreign ministries of partner states are accredited:

  • 10 observers come from the Entente Council, 79 from ECOWAS, 45 from the African Union, 17 from CEN-SAD and 14 from the United Nations, making a total of 165 observers from international organizations.
  • 46 observers come from the Embassy of the United States of America in Togo, 20 from the African Group of Ambassadors, 11 from the Embassy of France, 10 from the Delegation of the European Union and 07 from the Embassy of Germany . Other embassies such as those of Italy, Spain, South Korea and Angola have sent observers. A total of 101 observers come from diplomatic missions accredited to Togo.
  • 14 international observers from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Ladies and gentlemen International observers,

You know your work well and you participate in the process as a professional. However, you would like to invite yourself to exercise your mission within the framework of the ethics of conviction and the ethics of responsibility. By carrying out your mission with complete conviction and with respect for your mandate, you will be able to resist and overcome any partisan logic and act with strict impartiality. Acting within the framework of the ethics of responsibility will allow you to constantly and at all times keep in mind your objective prerogatives and limits. The supporter of the ethics of responsibility, Max WEBER tells us in his book The Scientist and the Politician, thinks of the consequences of his actions when he acts or poses them.

With regard to the measures and provisions taken by the CENI and the Government for the smooth running of the poll, we have among us the President of the CENI and the colleagues in charge of the Territorial Administration and Security, or their representatives , who will have the opportunity to situate you on these measures and provisions which are both operational and safe.

Finally, I would like to once again wish everyone a warm welcome to our country and good luck on your various missions. Thank you for your choice to accompany Togo and thank you.

Munich: Prof. Robert DUSSEY meets his Russian counterpart Serguei LAVROV

The Prof. Robert DUSSEY, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad, met on February 15, 2020 with his Russian counterpart H.E.Mr Serguei LAVROV in Munich.

Bilateral issues were at the center of discussions between the two Ministers, who welcomed the excellent quality of the cooperation and partnership relations between their two countries and agreed to diversify them while strengthening them as best as possible.

The Russian Minister, on behalf of his Government, congratulated the Togolese Government for the various reforms it continues to undertake and praised the performance of Togo highlighted by the 2020 report of  “Doing Business” which ranks Togo is the leading reforming country in Africa and third worldwide in terms of economic reform. In order to strengthen and promote their economic relations, the two countries have agreed to organize an economic forum in which their economic operators will participate.

Regarding international issues, Minister Robert DUSSEY appreciated the new dynamic that characterizes relations between Africa and Russia, marked by the holding of the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi on October 23, 2019.

Addressing issues of peace and security, the two Ministers focused their attention on the crisis and conflict situations prevailing in Africa and particularly in the Sahel and West Africa. Consequently, they reiterated the commitment of their countries to continue to act actively in favor of peace and, to this end, called for the peaceful settlement of the differences.

Done at Munich on 16 February 2020

ACP-EU : Extending the Cotonou agreement until December 2020

Today, new impetus was given to the post-Cotonou negotiations on a new agreement between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) as the two chief negotiators agreed on the way forward.

Commissioner for International Partnerships and the EU’s new chief negotiator, Jutta Urpilainen, said: “I am personally committed to accelerate our talks to try to reach a final agreement soon. We made real progress in today’s meeting to move forward to a new partnership fit to address today’s realities, meet our mutual needs and champion our common vision of the world, solidarity and progress. I am honoured to take up this function as the chief negotiator for a treaty covering over half of the of the world’s nations”.

Robert Dussey, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad, the ACP’s Chief Negotiator and Chair of the Ministerial Central Negotiating Group, said: “We are very pleased to have concluded the first working session with the new EU chief negotiator, Ms Urpilainen. The atmosphere was cordial, the meeting was productive and the discussions were frank and direct. The parties noted significant progress made both on the common foundation and on regional protocols.” Minister Robert Dussey continued: “Regional protocols that focus on the needs and aspirations of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries will ensure that the new agreement is inclusive and at the same time sensitive to the diversity of the ACP group.

Extending the Cotonou agreement until December 2020

The Cotonou Agreement is a comprehensive association agreement, covering the EU-ACP relations. It is due to expire on 29 February 2020. As negotiations on the future agreement are still under way, parties have agreed on transitional measures to extend, without any change, the application of the current Cotonou Agreement until December 2020. Thus, the legal and political continuity of the ACP-EU Partnership will be ensured.

Progress made and next steps

Meeting with the ACP and EU negotiation teams, the two chief negotiators have made substantial progress in relation to the regional partnerships. Both sides have agreed on key chapters of the regional partnerships within the future ACP-EU agreement. In the weeks to come, EU and ACP teams will carry on the negotiations, merging proposals and fine-tuning the text of the agreement. These include the general provisions, means of cooperation, institutional framework and final provisions.

Speech of launching of the decade 2020-2030 “Decade of the African Diasporas”

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of State and Government,
Mr. Chairperson of the African Union Commission,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Distinguished guests,

First of all, I would like to thank the Prime Minister of the host country for their regime of hospitality worthy of a country hosting the headquarters of our august Institution.
I would also like, on behalf of the President of the Togolese Republic, HE Mr. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, who so much wanted to participate personally in this Summit, but ultimately retained in the country as part of the campaigns for the presidential election, the first round of which is scheduled on February 22, congratulate the new President of the Conference of Heads of State and Government for his election to the head of our Institution and congratulate the outgoing President for his excellent work of service to the African community.
Allow me, moreover, Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of State and Government, to thank you, on behalf of President H.E. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, for your great interest in the issue of African Diasporas and people of African descent.

I would also like to express my gratitude to the Commission for the spirit of flexibility and great understanding shown towards my Delegation by agreeing to examine the above point.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of State and Government,
Mr. Chairperson of the African Union Commission,

The quest for lasting change on the African continent requires the creation of conditions conducive to the development of an economic, social and sustainable society through the capitalization of skills, expertise and leadership from the African diaspora, understood as the ‘together’ people of African origin living outside the continent, whatever their citizenship and nationality and who wish to contribute to the development of the continent and to the building of the African Union ‘.

Indeed, in a world in convergence towards globalization related to economic, financial, digital speculations and other transversal opportunities, Togo, like the other countries of the continent, has demonstrated its faith and its confidence in the constructive force sisters and brothers who live across borders, multiplying initiatives aimed at facilitating their return and their involvement in the economic and cultural development of their country and the continent.

In addition, marked by shrinking identities which often translate into tougher migration conditions, more complex asylum-granting measures, discriminatory treatment suffered by populations of African descent, Africa must ask itself the foundations of an African response to identity issues while broadening the approach.

This approach serves to recall and underline the contribution of Africa to humanity as well as the rich contribution of communities of African descent to history.
The sixth continent, as the African Union Commission rightly called it, constitutes an important economic, political and cultural power which cannot leave us indifferent. It represents a historic community of values ​​and cultures, crossed today by models of social and professional successes useful to Africa.

While congratulating the African Union Commission for the enormous work that is being done on diasporic issues, notably through the efforts of the regional offices and the Directorate of Citizens and the Diaspora, I would nevertheless like to advocate in favor of ” a more committed approach by the African Union towards our brothers from the outside and Afro-descendants.
It is common ground that people of African descent and the diaspora play a crucial role in the emancipation of the continent, by supporting Africa’s development and programs through effective advocacy within the legislative and executive bodies of their country. reception, civil societies, NGOs, academia. Likewise, the African diasporas, by virtue of their expertise and their economic weight, remain potential stakeholders in the implementation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of State and Government,
Mr. Chairperson of the African Union Commission,

The African diaspora is an integral part of the African Union. Article 3 (q) of the Protocol on Amendments to the Constitutive Act of the African Union (2003) already expressly invited the African Union to participate as an important party in the construction of the Union. In addition, the Declaration of the World Diaspora Summit in 2012 recognized the need to build lasting partnerships between the African continent and the African diaspora through lasting dialogue and effective collaboration.

In this sense, it is imperative that we can celebrate this important fringe of the Continent which lives beyond the borders of Africa and testify to it of all our fraternity, while giving it a place of choice in the construction of “this Africa that we want “.
To do this, on the instructions of the President of the Togolese Republic, I would here submit to your appreciation, the proposal to decree the 2020-2030 decade as “Decade of African Diasporas”.
This Decade will offer the Commission the chance, together with the organizations representing the African diasporas, to carry out reflections with a view to implementing a genuine diasporic policy and a solid action plan which should concretize the return and the increased involvement of the diaspora in the continent’s development process.
It will also be an opportunity to break down the walls that hinder the return of brothers of African descent from the West Indies, the Caribbean and America.
It will also be a question not only of celebrating African heritage and culture with its roots but also of allowing those passionate about African culture to find themselves in communion with the continent. The Decade of the African Diasporas will increase the positive bias (patriotism) of the African Diasporas vis-à-vis the Continent.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of State and Government,
Mr. Chairperson of the African Union Commission,

The Decade of the African Diasporas aims to be inclusive and will have as main components the launch of the event, a global awareness and mobilization campaign aimed at promoting African roots through a strategic communication plan and country events.
It is in this perspective that the African Diaspora Economic Forum is part of the plan that Togo intends to organize on the theme “The contributions of the African diaspora to the development of the continent”.

The pressure is strong to give priority to the economy, given the challenges to be met in Africa, the forum aims to lay the foundations for an innovative framework of dialogue and permanent exchanges between Africans from outside, the State and non-state actors for the purpose of creating and promoting conditions favorable to the full participation of these Africans in the socio-economic development of the continent. This initiative is about strengthening cultural, social, economic and financial cooperation between African communities around the world and the continent.

The Lomé meeting, which will be consecrated by a Declaration, will offer the opportunity to reflect on the mechanisms to be implemented in order to support the productive investment and entrepreneurship initiatives of the African diaspora in order to improve and to increase the impact of its actions on economic development. It will also be an opportunity to discuss ways that can allow Africa and African communities living on other continents to help each other.

All in all, the Lomé Forum will also affirm that the mobility of people and co-development strategies can be a solution for the integration of populations of African descent and for the accession of our continent to emergence.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Heads of State and Government,
Mr. Chairperson of the African Union Commission,

The moment is favorable for a rise in power of the African diasporas. However, in general, they complain of not participating and being associated with the implementation of public policies which require North-South interconnections and transfers. And yet the potential of the diaspora in the development of Africa is known to all. We must therefore find levers to strengthen the commitment of our diaspora to the continent.
By deciding here and today to declare 2020-2030 the Decade of African Diasporas, we will have to bring together members of the diaspora and decision-makers as well as members of the diaspora at the national, regional and global levels for the development of our continent.

Thank you !

Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad in working visit to Washington in the United States of America

1- At the invitation of the US Secretary of State, Mike POMPEO, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad, Robert DUSSEY, paid a visit to Washington.

2- During this visit, Minister Robert DUSSEY launched, alongside his peers, the Alliance on Religious Freedom initiative, “Religious Freedom Alliance”.

3- In his intervention, he recalled that religious freedom which is one of the difficult but essential conquests of democratic modernity, is in danger in many regions of the world and underlined that violent extremism, under its various ramifications , threatens this freedom.

4- In this regard, he demonstrated that the burning and vandalization of places of worship, the assassination of religious men are, among other things, threats which degrade our societies, the humanity of man and which manifestly translate an attempt to exterminate religious freedom, and of freedom all over the planet.

5- In addition, Professor DUSSEY praised the watch and regulation work that states in Africa do to guarantee the exercise of religious freedoms which are fundamental human freedoms before urging them further to protect the exercise of these freedoms against extremism and the terrorist threat.

6- Specifically addressing the case of Togo, Minister DUSSEY stressed that religious freedom is a right enshrined in the fundamental law.

7- Also, the Minister said that in Togo, religious denominations have the right to organize and freely exercise their activities in accordance with the law and the principle of secularism and non- discrimination based on religion and that the country set up on May 15 an Interdepartmental Committee to prevent and fight against violent extremism and a strategy to prevent and fight against violent extremism which aims to protect compatriots from threats and protect the free expression of individual freedoms including religious freedoms.

Done in Washington, February 05, 2020

Interview : Review of diplomatic actions in 2019 with Minister Robert Dussey

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad Prof Robert DUSSEY speaks on the highlights of Togo’s diplomatic action in 2019

Question 1:

Greetings dear Minister! In a few days, we will cross the threshold of a new year. At the time of the balance sheet, are you satisfied with the contribution of diplomacy to the work of development of Togo and to the progress of the world?

ANSWER:

Hello. Thank you for this opportunity that you offer me to come back to the highlights of Togo’s diplomatic activity during 2019.

I would say that Togolese diplomacy, under the leadership of the Head of State, His Excellency Faure GNASSINGBE, whose vision and clairvoyance I welcome, has been at all meetings, both national and international, in sight to support the efforts of the Government in its quest for well-being for all the sons and daughters of our country.

However, to say that I am satisfied with it would be to be self-sufficient and minimal. The hope of a better and prosperous Togo is an everyday fight, an endless fight, in which self-satisfaction cannot be put. I can, however, say that the personnel of my department, both at the headquarters and in our diplomatic and consular missions, did their utmost to achieve the objectives we set ourselves at the beginning of the year. As for the results, I leave it to the Togolese and Togolese, including you media people, to appreciate.

QUESTION 2:

I would like, if you allow me, to get to the heart of the matter by mentioning a subject on which you have been very active. At the start of the year, your department was given new attributions, those of Togolese living abroad. What has been done in favor of the diaspora during these 12 months?

Answer:

This is a very interesting question insofar as a whole section of the activities of the Ministry has been devoted this year to the Togolese diaspora.

The Togolese diaspora, like that of elsewhere, whether we accept it or not, has become an essential player in the development process of the continent. It’s a fact. And needless to say, the amount of transfers it sends to Africa far exceeds official development assistance. In addition, the potential of what this diaspora can bring in terms of skills and relational networks is enormous. States have therefore become aware of the place of the diaspora, rich in its diversity and intelligence, in the development effort and have therefore implemented, in recent years, policies oriented towards the intensification of participation of their nationals from outside to national development efforts.

Togo is not the rest. The Government’s desire to take the diaspora into account in the development process of our country does not start today, as you seem to say. Indeed, since 2005, the Government has continued to multiply both institutional and administrative initiatives in favor of Togolese abroad. Without being exhaustive, we can note, to illustrate:

  • The creation by decree in 2005 of the Directorate of Togolese Abroad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for implementing government policy aimed at protecting and defending the interests of Togolese outside;
  • the establishment of the diaspora program in 2010, focusing in particular on the use of diaspora skills (2010-2014);
  • the creation in 2014 of the inter-ministerial committee responsible for coordinating and monitoring migration and development activities;
  • the establishment of a diaspora cell responsible for supporting Togolese from the outside with projects in their implementation;
  • the designation since 2015 of focal points responsible for the diaspora in the diplomatic and consular missions of Togo;
  • diaspora meetings between 2013 and 2014;
  • the organization of the great diaspora conference in 2014 in Lomé;
  • visa exemption for Togolese living abroad who hold dual nationality;
  • the organization of the first edition of the Diaspora Success Week in 2016.

It is in this spirit that the Government has consolidated its commitment vis-à-vis our compatriots living abroad through new powers for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, guardianship of this diaspora, taking into account in its name “Togolese from the outside”.

In accordance with this mission, which in truth is not new, since it is a continuation of the efforts already started by the government in favor of its diaspora, I launched on April 1, 2019, on behalf of the Government, the Roadmap for Togolese abroad which covers several activities, including the better organization of the Togolese diaspora with a view to its more adequate involvement in national development efforts. It is a question of making the diaspora an interlocutor of the public authorities. And, as everyone knows, our diaspora is extremely divided and heterogeneous, hence the need to better organize it to give it a face. The challenge was great in that it was a question of creating and instituting a logic of unity from the plurality characteristic of this diaspora.

We therefore launched at the beginning of July the online voting process which led to the election of seventy-seven (77) Country Delegates, members of the High Council of Togolese Abroad (HCTE) which is a consultative and non-partisan platform. The HCTE is a framework for exchanges and work between the government and Togolese and Togolese from outside on development issues, defending the rights and interests of the latter.

After their election, the 77 Country Delegates, members of the HCTE met for the first time in Lomé on 28 and 29 November 2019 on the occasion of the “HCTE-Diaspora Success” Forum.

 

QUESTION 3:

Precisely, Minister, what were you pursuing through the organization of the “HCTE Forum – Diaspora Success” which, according to many observers, was a resounding success?

Answer:

The “HCTE Forum – Diaspora Success” had two main objectives:

First, it was an opportunity for the Government to talk to the Country Delegates about their roles, their missions, their responsibilities and the legal framework for their actions, to present the development vision that underlies government action, on the one hand, and to define with them, the conditions for a more optimal contribution of the diaspora to Togo’s development efforts, on the other hand. At the end of the forum, the 77 Country Delegates of the HCTE were officially installed in their functions during an official ceremony chaired by the Prime Minister, Mr. Selom KLASSOU, on behalf of the President of the Republic, His Excellency Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE. It should also be said that the members of the HCTE were able to set up their office, composed of a Presidents and four Vice-Presidents for each of the geographic areas (Africa, America, Europe and Asia-Oceania).

Secondly, in view of the satisfactory results of the first edition of “Diaspora Success, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad organized the second edition, to celebrate Togolese excellence in the world. The Night of Diaspora Success took place on November 29, 2019 during a beautiful gala evening at the Palace of the Presidency of the Republic. It revealed to the world five talented Togolese from the diaspora whose achievements and inventions have helped advance humanity. Their merits being recognized in their country of residence, their homeland is duty bound to honor them.

By celebrating the success of these people, we are promoting a culture of excellence.

 

QUESTION 4:

Another topical subject, and not least, is the negotiations between the ACP and the EU for a post-Cotonou agreement by 2020. As your chief negotiator for the ACP group, tell us what about it? Is an agreement possible before the February 2020 deadline?

Answer:

Signed in 2000 for a period of 20 years, the Cotonou agreement which currently governs relations between the ACP and the EU expires on February 29, 2020. Negotiations with a view to concluding a new partnership have been launched September 20, 2018 in New York, on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.

The current negotiations aim to lay the groundwork for a new dynamic and a new cooperation transcending classic development cooperation.

The ACP-EU partnership is mainly focused on the eradication of poverty and the sustainable and inclusive development of the ACP and EU countries. It covers three essential areas of action: development cooperation, political dialogue and trade.

Building on the lessons learned from 44 years of cooperation and making the most of the new context, the future agreement will open up unprecedented perspectives. By forming a strong political alliance, the ACP and its partners will be able to develop solutions adapted to the challenges specific to each region, including growth and job creation, human development and peace, migration and security issues. Many of the challenges currently facing the world call for a concerted, multilateral approach to achieve concrete results.

One year after the start of the post-2020 ACP-EU negotiations, discussions are progressing in peace.

The first challenge encountered was to find a consensus on the format of the future partnership agreement. It will be made up of a common base applicable to all member states and three regional pillars which will reflect the specific characteristics and needs of each of the regions that make up the ACP. This means that Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific are called upon to directly negotiate their respective regional protocols with the EU, in the light of their development ambitions. By empowering the regions, the ACP group is convinced that they will do effective substantive work.

However, it is unlikely that these negotiations can be completed before February 29, 2020, the expiry date of the current Agreement. Already, on May 23, 2019, the ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers, realizing the complexity of the task, had delegated its powers to the Joint Committee of Ambassadors with a view to adopting any required transitional measures which would avoid an interruption of the partnership or a vacuum legal, in case negotiations do not come to an end in due time.

Discussions on these transitional measures are also continuing between the two parties. The least we can say for the moment is that the two parties agree on a single extension of the Cotonou Agreement with the deadline of December 31, 2020. What I can tell you is that we are making every effort to progress as quickly as possible so that the initialling of the new Agreement can take place no later than the end of March 2020.

In this way, we will have enough time to prepare the new Agreement for signature.

QUESTION 5:

Minister, you have also been very offensive in bilateral relations. What are the countries to which you have directed your actions?

Answer:

As said above, our country needs partners for the realization of the PND. It is with this in mind that I paid official visits to Brazil, France and Algeria. Beyond the subjects of common, regional and international interest relating to better coordination of the fight against terrorism and violent extremism as well as that against maritime piracy, these trips were an opportunity for me to present to the of these friendly countries the opportunities offered by the PND and to encourage them to invest in Togo.

In the same vein, I received my counterparts in Lomé including those from India and Serbia for the intensification of our cooperation.

Question 6:

Minister, we’re coming to the end of this interview, your last word.

Answer:

I would like, at the dawn of this new year, to express to the Head of State, President Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, leader of the tremendous transformation of our country, my wishes for good health, prosperity and of peace.

I associate these wishes with Prime Minister Selom KLASSOU and the whole government.

I also extend my best wishes to the diplomatic and consular corps accredited in Togo and to all the technical and financial partners of Togo who have not ceased to accompany the government in the implementation of actions in favor of the development of our country and the well-being of our people.

And for each and every one of the sons and daughters of this wonderful country, I would like to successively quote Victor Hugo and Madame de Sévigné in these terms; “Let us salute together this new year which ages our friendship without aging our heart”. And “May this year be happy for you; may peace, rest and health take your place of fortune ”.

As for the future, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry teaches us “that it is not a question of foreseeing it but of making it possible”. So let’s make it possible, Togo thrives as we want.

Signing of the framework agreement for cross-border cooperation and the Memorandum of security cooperation between Togo and Benin and the delivery of equipment to local communities in Grand-Popo, on December 23, 2019

Address by Prof. Robert Dussey

Dear Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Benin dear Aurélien AGBÉNONCI,

Minister of the Interior and Public Security of the Republic of Benin,

Dear colleagues Ministers of the Togolese delegation,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

The proximity between our two countries, Togo and Benin, is not only spatial. Besides the choice of nature to make our two countries immediate neighbors – nature doing nothing without reason tells us KANT -, deep historical ties link our two nations, but also fraternal links which constitute the background and the motivational basis of our cooperative relationships.

The facilities made available to the Togolese delegation since our arrival and the hospitality regime reserved for us convinces us of the excellence of the relations of friendship and fraternal proximity between Togo and Benin. I would like to take this opportunity to convey to His Excellency Patrice TALON, President of the Republic of Benin, the fraternal and friendly greetings from His Excellency Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Republic of Togo.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The cooperative relations of our two countries are at the heart of these meetings and our governments have made the best choice to work towards their densification. Our co-belonging to the same sub-regional space and our common dependence, sometimes common vulnerabilities and common challenges, impose action on relationships. Paul VALERY did well to qualify our epoch of epoch of meetings and relationships.

Our era is forcing people and states to come together and we have no choice but to cooperate and act together. Acting together, says philosopher Hannah ARENDT, is “inseparable from the appearance-common-of beings”, from the fact that we are together with others, from the fact that existence is co-presence and belonging to the world . Being together provides opportunities to act together and that is what we are doing right now. We have the power to act together and we act.

The framework agreement for cross-border cooperation and the memorandum of understanding that we signed today endow relations between our two States with new normative frameworks in an historic time when we need to cooperate more for development, to cooperate more for regional and African integration, to cooperate more for the security and stability of each of our countries and the sub-region.

More cooperation for development since our two countries have common challenges linked to the emergence, more cooperation for regional and African integration since a better integrated Africa can only be credible and audible on the world stage, more cooperation for security, a primary public good, the enjoyment of which conditions and promotes the realization of the fundamental human right of our populations and our developing States.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The West African sub-region is the framework for the presence of our states in the world – and if ARISTOTE is right when he puts the primacy of the Whole over the Party – we cannot deal with the problem of the internal security of our countries regardless of the security situation in the sub-region. National security requires endogenous efforts, but it also requires the governments of the subregion for cooperation and a coalition of means. Networking national security strategies is the solution today.

The fight against crime, maritime piracy, cyber-insecurity and terrorism and the action which they imply, on both sides of our borders, must be deployed within the framework of a shared vision of responsibilities which urges each party to work in a spirit of co-dependence and co-responsibility.

Our States deploy efforts in this vision by evolving their paradigms and conceptions of intelligence with the exercise in sharing of some of their traditional royal attributes and we are convinced that the option for the reinforcement and the acceleration of the impulses of cooperation cross-border is good because it is lucid and in tune with the spirit of the times.

Besides, the challenges are great and impose on us the need to intensify cooperation between our two countries. The Togolese government remains convinced that effective cooperation between the Togolese and Beninese security, intelligence and civil protection services will allow our two states to consolidate their respective capacities to respond to current security challenges. Faced with cross-border challenges, we need coordinated and effective cross-border action.

Thank you for your attention.

Prize of excellence 2019 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Togo

Press release

Launched in 2014 by H.E. Prof. Robert DUSSEY, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad, “The Prize of Excellence” is an initiative which aims to celebrate merit by awarding distinctions to agents of the Ministry who, during the year, showed selflessness, voluntarism and commitment in the exercise of their work. It’s about encouraging everyone to give the best of themselves.

The evaluation process that led to the designation of the winners of this 6th edition includes two main components:

a “peer review” which reveals the appreciation of the agent by his colleagues: the members of the personnel designate by vote, on a list of agents nominated by the directors, the person whom they consider may deserve the price of excellence. This phase accounts for 25% for the research managers (Prize for excellence), 50% for the Secretaries (Prize for the best Secretary) and 75% for the Staff price (Drivers, cleaning agents and others) , Firstly ;
and an assessment of professional skills and competences by a neutral and independent jury made available by the National Employment Agency (ANPE), on the other hand. The evaluation by the jury represents 75% for the research managers, 50% for the Secretaries and 25% for the category of drivers and maintenance staff.

It should be noted that the selection of the best coach (among the directors) is left to the discretion of the hierarchy.

At the end of this process, the four lucky winners of the “Excellence Award 2019” are:

  • Best Coach Award: Mr. AKAKPO Koffi, Director of Togolese Abroad;
  • Award of Excellence: Mr. NOUWODOU Sokemawu, Researcher at the Directorate of State Protocol,
  • Best Secretary Award, Miss FOLI Mansa, Secretary at the General Inspection of Diplomatic and Consular Missions;
  • Staff Prize: Mr. KOUHOUNDJI François, Maintenance officer.

It should be noted, as a reminder, that the Prize for excellence was obtained by Mr. TCHASSANTI Bassirou (2014), Mr. TCHALARE Kader (2015), Mr. SOULEY Abdel Kahar (2016), Mr. BODE Manafi (2017) and M. FARE Gbandi (2018).

Lomé, December 13, 2019

Working visit to France: Robert DUSSEY meets Jean-Yves LE DRIAN

PRESS RELEASE

1- S.E. Prof. Robert DUSSEY, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad made a working visit to France, from 23 to 24 July 2019, at the invitation of HE Mr. Jean-Yves LE DRIAN, Minister of Europe and foreign affairs of the French Republic.

2- During their meeting, the two Ministers exchanged views on issues of common interest related to bilateral cooperation and collaboration on regional and multilateral issues.

3- Referring to the bilateral issues, the two personalities welcomed the excellent quality of the historic relations of friendship and cooperation between France and Togo and reaffirmed their willingness to continue working closely together for the strengthening and development of these relationships.

4- The Minister DUSSEY did not fail to express the strong thanks of the Togolese Government for the multifaceted support that France brings to it in its drive towards development, notably through the actions of the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Cultural Action Service, particularly in the field of water, sanitation, education, research, energy and culture.

5- Examining development issues, Minister Dussey declined the main axes of the National Development Plan (PND) and the opportunities it presents for the French private sector, already very present in Togo through twenty companies, and whose investments and expertise are highly anticipated.

France is one of Togo’s top trading partners and the Togolese Minister has called for the strengthening of these ties through a greater partnership between the private sectors of the two countries.

6- On the security front, the Minister praised France’s support in the training and preparation of the Togolese armed forces for missions abroad in the framework of peacekeeping operations as well as cooperation in the field of security. external operational information.

7- At the political level, the Minister LE DRIAN congratulated Togo for the considerable progress that it has made in recent months by carrying out the constitutional and institutional reforms and organizing in a peaceful and consensual manner, the legislative elections of December 20th, 2018 and the premises of June 30, 2019.

In this respect, Professor DUSSEY has asked for the support and accompaniment of French cities, which already have proven experience, to young Togolese communes who are starting a new apprenticeship in decentralization and management of local communities.
He also took the opportunity to reassure his counterpart of the inclusive preparation of the 2020 presidential elections.

8- Speaking of regional issues, the two Ministers expressed concern about the resurgence of acts of terrorism, radicalization, violent extremism and maritime piracy on the continent and particularly in West Africa.

9- In this regard, the Togolese Minister congratulated his French counterpart for his support to the West African States in their response to terrorism and violent extremism, through the Serval and Barkhane operations and the support at G5 Sahel.

He noted, however, that the military response alone can not suffice and recalled the importance of preventive diplomacy, which requires governments to assume their roles and take the responsibility to protect their citizens, to make efforts to move closer to grassroots communities, to anticipate socio-political crises, to know how to stay at an equal distance from religious denominations while respecting the principle of secularism while playing their role of sovereign regulator.

10. Concerning multilateral issues, the two Ministers expressed their concern over the repeated attacks against multilateralism in recent years.

11- They agreed to strengthen their collaboration in international fora, coordinating their positions, not only for a better defense of their common interests, but also for the preservation of international peace and security.
The Heads of French and Togolese diplomacy also welcomed the positive development of the ongoing negotiations for a new ACP-EU Partnership Agreement.
They also reaffirmed their common desire to support all initiatives and take the most appropriate measures in the fight against global warming.

12- At the end of his stay, the Head of Togolese diplomacy expressed to his French counterpart his heartfelt thanks and gratitude for the quality of the reception he received and his delegation.

Done at Paris, July 24, 2019

Peace and Security Council meeting in Niamey

PEACE AND SECURITY COUNCIL
857TH MEETING
5 JULY 2019
NIAMEY, NIGER

COMMUNIQUE

Adopted by the Peace and Security Council at its 857th meeting held on 5 July 2019, on the situation in Libya and on the plight of African Migrants in Libya,

The Peace and Security Council,

Recalling Article 4 (o) of the AU Constitutive Act stating the sanctity of human life and article 7 of the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council, as well as its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in Libya and the situation of African migrants in the country, particularly press statement [PSC/PR/BR. (DCCCII)] of 802nd meeting held on17 October 2018, communiqué [PSC/MIN. (DCCXCVII)] of 797th meeting held at ministerial level on 24 September 2018, on the margins of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States of America, and 839th and communique [PSC/PR/COMM.(PSC/PR/COMM.(DCCCXXXIX)] meeting held on 9 April 2019;

Noting the remarks by H.E. Professor Robert Dussey Foreign Minister of the Togolese Republic, in his capacity as Chairperson of the PSC for the month of July 2019, and the Statement made by H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission; further noting the presentation by Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security, as well as the statement made by the Representative of the State of Libya;

Expressing grave concern, once again, over the situation in Libya, especially since 4 April 2019 and over the plight of African migrants in camps and detention centres in this country , in particular the recent bombing on migrants and refugees at Tajoura Detention Centre near Tripoli, in Libya, that left 53 dead and hundreds severely injured on 3 July 2019;

Expressing solidarity to the Government and people of Libya, and reaffirming its commitment and readiness to continue to supporting the Libyan stakeholder in addressing the crisis in their country, in line with the relevant AU instruments and principles.

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council:

  1. Condemns, in the strongest terms possible, the perpetrators of the savage attack, whoever they are, which was carried out on 3 July 2019 at Tajoura Migrant Detention Centre in the vicinity of Tripoli in Libya, against migrants, which caused loss of lives and left hundreds injured, among them; expresses its deep condolences to the families of the deceased and wishes speedy recovery to all the injured migrants and refugees;
  2. Endorses the Press Release of the Chairperson of the Commission of 3 July 2019, condemning this horrific crime and calling for an independent investigation on the perpetration of this crime;
  3. Decides that an independent inquiry be urgently instituted, with the participation of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), with a view to establishing the facts of the 3 July 2019 attack on the Tajoura Detention Centre near Tripoli and providing recommendations on practical measures for ensuring dignity, well-being, safety and security of migrants; in this context, Council requests the Commission to submit the outcome of the investigation to Council by 30 September 2019 for its consideration;
  4. Emphasizes the central role of the AU, working closely with the countries of the region, in the search for a durable solution to the crisis in Libya; in this context, Council insists that all partners engaged in supporting the efforts to resolve the Libyan crisis should complement and respect the approach of the AU; in this respect, Council requests the Chairperson of the Commission to further enhance his diplomatic engagement with all those concerned to ensure that collective action is expeditiously and effectively taken to put an end to the crisis in Libya;
  5. Reminds that the United Nations (UN), though its Security Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security in accordance with Chapter VII of the UN Charter; accordingly, Council requests the Security Council to take full responsibility towards the speedy resolution of the crisis in Libya, bearing in mind that the continuation of this crisis has severe consequences, especially illegal circulation and use of arms, trafficking, proliferation of terrorist groups, transnational organized crime, among other, on Libya itself, the region and the African Continent;
  6. Demands that all the perpetrators of this heinous crime be brought to justice without delay; In this context, Council urges Libyan authorities and other stakeholders to extend the necessary cooperation, to the investigation on the attack on the Tajoura Migrant Centre;
  7. Calls on the Libyan authorities to take concrete measures for the protection of civilians in Libya, including the migrants and refugees, in line with International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Law; further calls on Libyan authorities to dismantle all detention centers/camps in Libya, with a view to reducing the vulnerability of the migrants and refugees;
  8. Underscores the need on the part of Member States to take measures to decisively address root causes of irregular migration; calls on all concerned countries to redouble efforts with view to facilitating the speedy repatriation, including provision of logistical support, of their nationals from Libya in order to prevent any further exploitation of their fragile situation;
  9. Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the political situation in Libya; Reaffirms that there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis and emphasizes the imperative of a political solution as the only viable peaceful solution in resolving the prevailing crisis;
  10. Strongly condemns the external interference, by whomsoever, into African peace and security issues; in this respect, Council particularly expresses concern over increasing external intervention in domestic affairs of Libya as manifested by continued supply of arms to military factions and militias in violation of the UN arms embargo, deliberate attempts to divide Libyan  stakeholders, which is undermining efforts to definitely resolve the crisis in Libya; in this regard, Council stresses that any external support must complement African-led efforts for dialogue and reconciliation among the Libyan stakeholders; in this context, Council warns that it will proceed to naming and shaming those involved in order to address this problem;
  11. Demands the warring factions in Libya to immediately cease hostilities and commit to a permanent ceasefire and reengage in a genuine national dialogue in order to promote a political and inclusive solution to the crisis and reiterates its full support to the reconciliation conference to be organized by the African Union Commission and the AU High-Level Committee of Heads of State and Government of Libya;
  12. Looks forward to the planned meeting of the AU High-Level Ad Hoc Committee on Libya to take place on the margins of the inaugural AU-RECs Coordination Summit in Niamey, Niger;
  13. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Launch of the High Council of Togolese Abroad: Speech by Minister Robert Dussey

Ladies and Gentlemen Ambassadors,

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

Mr. Secretary General,

Ladies and Gentlemen Directors,

Ladies and Gentlemen Division Chiefs,

Dear friends of the press,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Distinguished guests,

 

The Greek philosopher Epicurus said about friendship: “It is not so much the intervention of our friends that helps us but the fact that we can always count on them. The dimension of his thought that interests me is the fact that Epicure has the confidence and the guarantee of being able to always count friends as the base of friendship. Your presence on this day here is reiterative and convinces us that Togo can always count on you dear partners.

The ceremony that brings us together today is indeed a culmination since it announces the realization of a project whose beginnings date back to 2014. The establishment of the High Council of Togolese Abroad (HCTE) translates ambition clearly displayed the President of the Republic and the Government to raise the level of involvement of the Togolese diaspora in our national development effort and march towards collective prosperity.

It will be remembered that on April 1, we were here on the occasion of the launch of the Togolese Roadmap from the outside. The creation of the High Council of Togolese Abroad will materialize one of the essential axes of this Roadmap. By taking the decision to create the Togolese High Council, the Government intends to federate our diaspora to make its contribution to the development of our country even more significant.

The Togolese diaspora is a diaspora crumbled into several associations with difficulties to regroup and organize themselves in a way that ensures its representativeness. It is therefore essential to unite these different associations in order to increase their capacity for action in the direction and service of the country. The initiative for the creation of the Togolese High Council for Foreign Affairs (HCTE) is partly a response of the Government to a request from the diaspora itself.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The High Council of Togolese Abroad will include all Togolese and Togolese residing outside the national territory. It will be the framework par excellence for exchange and mutual trust between the Togolese diaspora and the Government on all issues of common interest. The HCTE will also be responsible for monitoring and coordinating the development activities of the Togolese diaspora, promoting everywhere the defense of the rights and interests of Togolese abroad and supporting them whenever the circumstances so require and making periodic consultations. with the Togolese and Togolese host countries of the diaspora.

The High Council of Togolese Abroad will be a consultative body of non-partisan, non-partisan and non-profit, and will not be affiliated with any confessional, ideological or political obedience. The challenge is to bring everyone together, make the plural diaspora of Togo a unique platform in the service of the prosperity of the nation, reconcile the logic of plurality and that of unity. Blaise Pascal said well in his book Thoughts that “the multitude that is not reduced to unity is confusion; the unity that does not depend on the multitude is tyranny “. Our differences are an asset for the country.

Finally, once again, I would like to take this opportunity to renew to you, dear friends, the gratitude of the Government for your presence at this ceremony, which shows your unwavering support when it comes to initiatives for the cause. of our country’s development. You are, to paraphrase a thought of Pythagoras, companions who help Togo to move on the path of prosperity.

I thank you for your kind attention !

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.

Background

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.

SPEECH BY H.E. PROF. ROBERT DUSSEY IN THE  EU-AFRICA REGIONAL CONSULTATIONS FOR THE ACP-EU POST-COTONOU AGREEMENT NEGOTIATIONS

  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.

Background

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