The European Union (EU) and Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) have reached a new partnership agreement to promote peaceful coexistence and prosperous societies between the regions.
This follows successful negotiations on April 15, by chief negotiators, which would lead to the signing of a new Association Agreement between the 79 members of the Organisation of African, the Caribbean and the Pacific States, and the European Union.
This Agreement renews, modernises, and deepens the special relationship the African, Caribbean, and the Pacific States and the European Union have built over more than 40 years.
It also sets a framework for cooperation between the two parties in the next twenty years.
A joint statement issued by Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, European Commission, and Professor Robert Dussey, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad, said in a troubled world, grappling with an unprecedented environmental crisis, a devastating pandemic, and a revival of the unilateralist temptation, the relationship between the two groups of countries represented a pillar of stability and a beacon of hope.
The new Agreement, they said would take the partnership between the two groups to the next level, adding that it was more ambitious, comprehensive, and flexible than its predecessors, be it in terms of jobs, global challenges, rights, multilateralism, and differentiation.
"It goes beyond the Cotonou Agreement, in various fields. Let us raise just three of these aspects," the chief negotiators said.
They said from a geopolitical perspective, "we will together be stronger globally and strive to implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, the overarching frameworks guiding our partnership."
The negotiators said from a partnership point of view, strong regional components were included in the text for the first time in over forty years of collaboration, adding that tat strengthened the EU's relations with each region through three tailor-made regional Protocols with specific priorities.
In substance, the agreement puts human rights, gender equality, democracy, and good governance at the core of our partnership, and "We will have a special focus on human development, fostering economic opportunities for all, and preserving the environment," they noted.
"The result of our negotiations is a testimony to the vitality of our relationship. It is a true turning point, a major political achievement, and a powerful tool to advance the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.
"Our young people demand a fairer, greener, and more peaceful world. The future generation deserves a global rules-based order that regulates power politics, protects the vulnerable, and promotes open societies while leaving no one behind. Our new agreement works towards this," they added.
The EU and OACPS represent 1.5 billion people on four continents, 106 countries, and more than half of the seats at the United Nations General Assembly and share common values, as well as a common vision - peaceful and prosperous societies that leave no one behind.