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.