Sumario: 16 June 2008, Brussels - For the first time in its 33-year history, the ACP-EU Council of Ministers has come out with a joint political resolution on top-of-agenda issues such as food prices, Economic Partnership Agreements and regional integration, and the effectiveness of development aid.
The resolution came at the annual Council of Ministers between the European Union and the Group of States from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific which took place in Addis Ababa on 12th and 13th June. Among key issues discussed were world trade negotiations, EPAs, regional integration, food prices and energy and aid effectiveness.
Commenting on the joint resolution, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel said, "This was an historic step-forward in our relationship and one I fully support. This is a clear sign that the EU and the ACP countries can establish common visions and offer common solutions to help tackle global challenges together for the benefit of all."
On the issue of food prices, the Council stressed the dramatic situation faced by many ACP populations. The EU responded by stating its readiness to increase its short term financial support as required. The ACP countries on their side recognised that only with sustainable and cash-backed regional and national agriculture policies could credible medium and long term solutions be found.
On the food price crisis, Commissioner Michel added, "This is a perfect example of a problem 'here and now' that can only be solved by all of us working together effectively and efficiently on the underlying causes with mid and long-term solutions. I can reassure all our ACP partners that the EU stands ready to help in any way it can."
There were also positive discussions on EPAs and on the importance of continued joint efforts on the run-up to the Accra summit on aid effectiveness.