The world food and financial crisis, and debate on how best to ensure that EU-ACP economic partnership agreements foster development, will take centre stage at the 17 session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), in Prague (Czech Republic) from 4 to 9 April 2009. Delegates will also debate how best to establish peace and stability in Somalia, a Horn of Africa country afflicted by piracy at sea and fierce fighting between African Union peacekeepers and Islamic rebels on land.
Food and financial crisis
$50 billion for poor countries is certainly not enough to compensate them for $750 billion of lost growth in 2009 alone", said Co-President Glenys Kinnock, commenting on the G20's response in London on 2 April, to the impact of the crisis on the world's poor.
The role of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement in addressing the food and financial crisis in ACP countries will be debated on the afternoon of Monday 6 April.
Economic partnership agreements
Progress in concluding EU-ACP economic partnership negotiations "now depends on the willingness of the Commission to offer concessions to ACP governments and negotiators", stressed Mrs Kinnock, noting Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton's commitment to a "new flexibility".
The state of play on economic partnership agreements and their possible impact on ACP countries will be debated on the afternoon of Wednesday 8 April.
Effects of climate change
"Some experts warn that on current trends, the total cost of global warming will be as high as 3.6% of GDP", said Co-President Wilkie Rasmussen, noting that in two decades, only a handful of OECD countries had delivered on pledges to increase their aid budgets to 1% of GDP.
The social and environmental impact of climate change will be debated on the afternoon of Wednesday 8 April.
Reconciling democracy and diversity
The first requirement for accommodating ethnic, cultural and religious diversity within a democracy is a legal framework recognising the equal rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic groups, and protecting all citizens from discrimination. But investing in education, ensuring equal access to the media for minorities, and affirmative hiring practices all help too, says a draft resolution to be debated by the Assembly on the afternoon of 8 April.
Establishing and promoting peace, security, stability and governance in Somalia will be debated on the afternoon of Tuesday, 7 April.
Development Commissioner Louis Michel will make a statement on the afternoon of 6 April, and Trade Commissioner Baroness Catherine Ashton will speak on the afternoon of 8 April on the current position in the WTO negotiations.
All reports and resolutions will be put to the vote on Thursday 9 April 2009. An informal press point will be held after the votes.
Venue: Clarion Congress Hotel, Prague, Czech Republic
Journalists wishing to cover the Assembly may contact Maura Delaney, at email@example.com
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