Press release

African Union (AU) 19th Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council Strongly backs the ACP Negotiating Mandate for Post-Cotonou Negotiations

September 17, 2018

African Union (AU) 19th Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council Strongly backs the ACP Negotiating Mandate for Post –Cotonou Negotiations

The Seychelles delegation at the Council joined the chorus of voices calling for support of the ACP Negotiating mandate on the Post Cotonou Negotiations.

It would be recalled that the ACP Council had adopted unanimously the Negotiating Mandate on 31st May 2018 in Lomé, Togo, and had submitted their Mandate to the European Council. On its part, the European Council also exchanged its own Negotiating Mandate in June 2018.

The Cotonou Agreement, a partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Groups of States (ACP) comes to an end in 2020 and negotiations for a new Agreement are expected to commence 18 months prior, meaning by the end of August 2018.

However, during its 31st Session held in Nouakchott, Mauritania on 1-2 July 2018, the Assembly of the Union had recognized the need for further dialogue in order to build consensus on Africa’s Common Position, negotiating strategy and the elements of an agreement with the EU post 2020. Further, the Assembly of Heads of State had agreed to seek an extension of the commencement of this negotiations in order to provide time to certain Member States who were still weighing the merits of the ACP Negotiating Mandate to fully satisfy themselves. The ACP and the EU, subsequently agreed to an extension only up to the end of September for the negotiations to begin.

It is against this backdrop that the 19th Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU was held.

Member States consented that the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States mechanism will be the framework for negotiation of an agreement with the EU on the post-Cotonou arrangements, and that negotiations can proceed on 1st October 2018 as planned;

Member states further consented on a solid compact on Africa that respects Agenda 2063 priorities.

The Seychelles delegation to the meeting comprised of Ambassador Barry Faure, Secretary of State and Executive Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Patrick Payet, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning, Ambassador David Pierre, Seychelles’ Permanent Representative to the AU in Addis Ababa, Ms. Cillia Mangroo, Principal Secretary for Trade, and Mrs. Johnette Stephen, Principal Counsellor, Embassy of Seychelles in Addis Ababa.