Kenya, EU commit to further agreements to enhance ACP-EU partnership

Written By: Christine Muchira
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The President Uhuru Kenyatta with EU commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen.

Kenya has committed to further agreements with the EU that will enhance integration of ACP countries into the global economy in the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between ACP and the European Union.

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President Kenyatta during the 9th ACP Summit noted that under his stewardship, Kenya will seek to promote and protect the interests of the ACP group at the regional, continental and international levels.

“I will also champion the group’s solidarity and unity; advocate for an enhanced intra-ACP and South-South and Triangular Cooperation; champion a Reform Agenda for the ACP Group; push for the integration of our States into the global economy, as well as the conclusion and implementation of the New Partnership Agreement,” said the President.

He said he looks forward to a more balanced trading arrangement with the European Union in the New Partnership Agreement, which gives priority to emerging opportunities especially in e-commerce and trade in services.

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Speaking at the same summit, the European Commissioner for International Partnerships Urpilainen Jutta called on APC Group of states to focus on the 2030 agenda for sustainable development in the new agreement in the spirit of multilateralism.

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She emphasized that EU supports multilateralism which is in line with the theme of the 9th APC summit.

She noted that the European Union strongly promotes collaboration, dialogue, mutual respect and joint push for better.

“Multilateralism is key to us all. This ACP Summit is the perfect place for EU to convey our message of support. This summit is proof that together we stand against the tide of breaking ties,” said Jutta. Adding, “Our partnership is both long-lasting and unique. It pans the globe from North to South and East to West, Our challenge will be to make this partnership deliver the best possible results bilaterally and multilaterally.”

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Jutta emphasized that while adopting the new agreement that will succeed Cotonou agreement, it should not drift away from the basics.

“The agreement we adopt to succeed Cotonou must serve for basic purposes, it must be able to cope with the trends and realities of our modern world. The SDG framework and the Paris Agreement must be at core of our work and partnership.” Emphasised Jutta. Adding that “The new agreement must be flexible, that is why we believe in one common foundation of values and principles.”

“We account for more than half of the seats at the UN. We can build a powerful alliance that reflects our personal interests and values in the international agenda. We are showing the world that multilateralism is very much alive,” urged Jutta.

ACP – The Cotonou Agreement

The ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000, was concluded for a 20-year period from 2000 to 2020.

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It is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU. Since 2000, it has been the framework for EU’s relations with 79 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).

In 2010, ACP-EU cooperation has been adapted to new challenges such as climate change, food security, regional integration, State fragility and aid effectiveness.

The fundamental principles of the Cotonou Agreement include equality of partners, global participation (States and non-state actors), dialogue and regionalisation. The Agreement entered into force in April 2003 and has been revised in 2005 and 2010 in accordance with the revision clause to re-examine the Agreement every five years.

The Cotonou Agreement was designed to establish a comprehensive partnership with 3 pillars:

  • Development cooperation
  • Political cooperation
  • Economic and trade cooperation (for the period 2000-2007)
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