Workshop urges quick ratification of ACP-EU Cotonou accord

Lagos- Nigeria (PANA) -- Participants at a recent regional workshop have called for speedy ratification of the 2000 Cotonou agreement, between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group, to allow the disbursement of funds under the ninth European Development Fund (EDF).
ECOWAS said in a statement in Abuja Tuesday that the participants made the call at the 30 July-3 August workshop on the negotiation of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs), held in Cotonou.
It disclosed that only 13 of the 77 ACP countries which signed the Cotonou agreement of 23 June 2000 had ratified it, while only one of the 15 members of the EU had signed.
The ratification will give the ACP countries access to the 13.
5 billion Euro to be spent by the EU between 2000 and 2005 on poverty eradication programmes in the developing countries; as well as 9.
9 billion Euro in outstanding commitments under previous EDFs and 1.
7 billion Euro to be provided by the European Investment Bank.
Participants at the Cotonou workshop were drawn from the 15 members of ECOWAS, the eight-member Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA), the EU and the ACP Secretariat in Brussels.
ECOWAS said the session was part of the process for preparing ACP member States for the negotiation of the EPAs, in September 2002.
The Cotonou accord succeeded the ACP-EU partnership co-operation under the Lome Conventions that spanned 25 years.

07 august 2001 21:11:00

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