Apia, Samoa – Today, the European Union (EU) and its Member States signed a new Partnership Agreement with the Members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), marking a significant milestone in their longstanding relationship. This new agreement, known as the “Samoa Agreement,” will serve as the overarching legal framework for their relations for the next twenty years.
The Samoa Agreement replaces the Cotonou Agreement, which has governed EU-OACPS cooperation since 2000. The new agreement reflects the evolving global landscape and addresses a broader range of priorities, including sustainable development and growth, human rights, and peace and security.
Reactions to the EU-OACPS Partnership Agreement
Pilar Cancela Rodríguez, Secretary of State for International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain, who co-signed the Agreement on behalf of the EU, said that it was “a great honour” for the EU to sign the agreement during the Spanish Presidency of the Council. She added that the agreement would “help both sides to better address global challenges together and will reinforce bilateral cooperation in a wide range of aspects, from climate to peace and security, in the upcoming two decades.”
Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, EU chief negotiator who co-signed the Agreement on behalf of the EU, said that she was “satisfied that our long journey has come to a successful end with the signature of the Samoa Agreement.” She added that the agreement would “provide a modernised framework to revitalize our relations with the largest grouping of partner countries to provide a platform for dialogue and coordination to face the challenges of our times together. We will do everything to harness the collective power of our four regions.”
Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that the agreement was “a landmark for EU’s external relations.” He added that the Samoa agreement “brings together more than half of the UN members, from four continents, around shared priorities and interests. We are definitely moving away from the old paradigms and instruments that linked the EU to most of those countries into win-win partnerships that are fit for the current world. At a moment in time where multilateralism is in danger, the fact so many countries can come together and agree on joining forces to face global challenges opens a door for optimism.”
Civil Society Groups Urge African Nations to Reject EU-OACPS Partnership Agreement
A group of civil society organizations (CSOs) has issued a strong warning to the federal government and leaders of African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) states against signing the European Union-Africa-Caribbean and Pacific (EU-ACP) Partnership Agreement.
The coalition, spearheaded by educationist and concerned mother Dr. Ekaette Ettang, implored their respective countries’ parliaments and legislatures to reject ratification of the ‘deceptive’ treaty.
The CSOs expressed grave concern that if ACP governments yield to European Union pressure and sign the LGBTQ+ agreement, it would have disastrous consequences for their nations. They asserted that the pact is “primarily designed to homosexualize and LGBTQ+-ify the countries.”
The CSOs comprise the Human & Constitutional Rights Committee, the African Bar Association, the Parents Watch Initiative, and Zarephath Aid
The provisional application of the Agreement will start on 1 January 2024. The Agreement will enter into force upon consent by the European Parliament and ratification by the Parties, i.e. all EU Member States and at least two thirds of the OACPS Members.