22/06/2018 – Jamaica Gleaner. / The European Commission has received authorisation from the European Council to open negotiations for a new post-Cotonou Agreement partnership agreement with the 79 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).
The adoption was made yesterday.
In welcoming the news, Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs Minister and President of the ACP Council of Ministers Senator Kamina Johnson Smith declared, “The adoption of the negotiating mandate by the European Council is a most timely and welcome development. It brings us one step closer to the launch of the negotiations expected to take place in July, and will chart a new and dynamic course in the framework for ACP-EU cooperation”.
For its part, the ACP Group adopted its own negotiating mandate on May 30, 2018, during the 107th Session of ACP Council held in Lome, Togo.
Johnson Smith, in a statement today, recounted that leading up to and presiding over that Meeting, significant efforts were made to guide the discussions to a consensus on the terms of the mandate and the adoption of an all-ACP approach to the negotiations with the EU.
She added that,”Jamaica remains deeply committed to the ACP-EU relationship and will continue to play an active role in the evolution of the new partnership”.
The Cotonou Partnership Agreement was concluded in 2000 and is set to expire in February 2020.
The Agreement has fostered the development of a diverse partnership between the EU and the ACP in areas such as economic and trade cooperation, political dialogue and development cooperation.
The new agreement, to be in place after 2020, will seek to strengthen and modernise this partnership with emphasis on sustainable development and enhanced cooperation in multilateral fora.