Barroso calls for "ambitious" Euro-Africa pact

Sirte- Libya (PANA) -- European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso Monday called for "an ambitious" Euro-Africa Pact that would reassess the principles and values that govern relations between the two continents.
"Today, we can, (and) we must do more to put in place a new and solid political relationship between an enlarged Europe and a re-emerging Africa," he said in an address to the opening session of the 5th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State of the African Union (AU) convening 4-5 July in the Libyan central city of Sirte.
The EC official said the pact should reflect "equality, true ownership and dialogue.
to replace guilt or charity as the determining features of our partnership.
" He said equality meant the "break with neo-colonial and paternalist reflexes and look forward with a relationship which reflects the true spirit and potential of Europeans and Africans.
" Barroso explained the "ownership" means that each person, society, country or group of countries has the right, and duty, to "take command of his or its own destiny, while stressing the need for a permanent, frank and constructive dialogue based on respect and mutual interest, characterised by openness and honesty.
" He said the AU and NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development) have given the continent "a new vision, a mission and a strategy," noting that the "dynamic and bold" performance of the AU in Sudan and Cote d'Ivoire has "impressed the world.
" "Today, Africa looks into the future with more confidence and optimism than ever before because it has endowed itself with a mission and a vision that will guide it into a more peaceful, safe, and prosperous 21st century," the EC president said.
He also hailed the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) as a "just and effective tool for the self- monitoring of Africans by Africans," noting that the principles of human rights and good governance were not European exports, but instead universal principles that must be defended universally by all persons.

04 july 2005 21:35:00

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