News of Liberia
Ambassador addresses the gathering of Representatives of the EU- African, Caribbean and Pacific states in Brussels.
Ambassador addresses EU- African, Caribbean and Pacific states in Brussels.
Thursday, 15th April 2015
Brussels, Belgium -Remarks by His Excellency, Isaac Wehyee Nyenabo, Liberia Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary to Brussels, at the gathering of Representatives of the EU- African, Caribbean and Pacific states in Brussels on – April 16, 2015
Distinguish Representatives of the EU- African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries:
I bring you sincere greetings and warmest felicitations on behalf of the President of the Republic of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Government and People of Liberia.
I am personally pleased for the invitation extended me to take part in this unique gathering that brought together Representatives of African states who are members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries near Brussels.
Today, we found ourselves in a global society which has given prominence or greater recognition to global economic diplomacy as oppose to the yester years political diplomacy which was centered around states political interests; as a result of the new challenges brought about through interdependence of the new world order; in the year 1975 Leaders of some African countries and the Economic Community of Europe now the EU met in Lome’, Togo and concluded a trade agreement known a the Lome’ Convention. This gathering brought together near 46 African states.
After some years of discussions and modifications on the original Agreement, in 2000 Leaders from African, the Caribbean and the Pacific states (ACP) and the European Union (EU) signed a new Agreement in the Republic of Benin which is considered now known as the Cotonou Agreement. As of today about 79 countries are signatories with exception of Cuba.
The Cotonou Agreement, however, today the Agreement is much bigger in scope then the previous Agreement. The Present Agreement has an action plan covering a period of 20 years divided in five years phases. And it is based on four main principles:
• Equality of partners and ownership of development strategies. Under this ACP states are to determine how their societies and their economies should develop.
• Another cogent issue is Participation. Here the central government serves as the main actor; the partnership under the Cotonou Agreement took cognizant of other actors such as civil society, the private sector, and local governments.
• The third component has do with Dialogue and mutual obligations. This component gave recognition to respect for human rights which will be monitored through continuing dialogue and evaluation.
• Differentiation and regionalization. Under the long term strategy for Cooperation special treatment will be given to countries that are considered least developed or vulnerable.
The second EU –Africa Summit which was held in Lisbon, Portugal added more flesh to the existing Agreement in order to suit the contemporary reality of today world trade order.
Those areas the summit considered were: i. Partnership of Equals based on the effective engagement of our societies. This took to consideration attainment of the MDG; robust peace and security; strengthening investment; the promotion of good governance among others.
The summit also laid a ground for a long term African Action Plan which will deepen the political relations and address global challenges.
It seriously emphasized Economic Partnership with three focus points: Development Cooperation; Economic and Trade Cooperation; and Political Dimension.
With respect to Aid for Trade between EU-ACP, it has last for more than 40 years and has since then double and has proven to be very effective tools for development in member countries.
The component was further strengthened with the introduction of “EVERYTHING BUT ARM”(EBA), the Agreement has helped to remove duties and quotas on all exports products from Africa to the European Market with the except Arm.
Furthermore, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was meant to integrate ACP countries with their neighbors as a step towards global integration.
To enhance Economic Partnership Agreement-EPA the EU set aside funds in various component like €20 million for increasing economic capacity and negotiating capacity and € 10million to support ACP countries to integrate in the World Trade System and funds for various programs and projects aimed at enhancing development activities in ACP member states are all good steps in the right direction for countries which are signatories to the Cotonou Accord. Therefore, I wish to add my voice to other Leaders from countries of the ACP in commending the European Union these initiatives.
Much of these accomplishments achieved thou far for the implementation of Economic Trade between EU-ACP states are the results from those Agreements made by our respective National Leaders and the EU.
The 2010 EU-Africa Summit held in Tripoli, Libya and the Brussels’ 2014 Summit helped to reshape the Cotonou Agreement. My President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was among other African Heads of state in attendance during the 2014 Summit.
My country suffered two major economic setbacks, in 1989 Liberian Civil Conflict broke out and ended in 2003 through the signing of Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement ended the 14 long years of civil war in my country, and the outbreak of the deadly EBOLA Virus Disease in 2014 both of these totally collapsed the Liberian economy.
Liberia was on the way of economic recovery through various post war reconstruction programs by my Government again through the efforts applied by International Community and friendly governments were severely affected as a result the 2014 EBOLA Virus Disease outbreak in my country.
Today my country is faced with new challenge that has to do the post EBOLA recovery activities. Because of the importance the Liberian President attaches to this Recovery Program and Leaders within the Mano River Basin have travelled to the United States of America to meet with the Authorities of World Banks and the IMF to seek for economic and financial assistance in order implement their post EBOLA Recovery Programs those affected countries.
Liberia’s post EBOLA Recovery Program depends greatly on the full implementation of the various economic agreements under the Cotonou Accord. As such I wish to applaud the EU member states and the Council of the Economic Community of Europe and the Leaders of the ACP states for their overwhelming supports given to Liberian Government in the fight against the EBOLA Virus Disease. The country has experienced no cases of EBOLA for past over three weeks now.
ere is an urgent need by our respective leaders to give consideration to the revision clause to the Cotonou Agreement in order to reflect changes within the International Arena.
I wish to appeal to us who are direct representatives of the EU-ACP states to work tirelessly with all actors to the Accord to realize maximum benefits for our people and their societies.