Sommaire: 6 december 2007, Charm el-Cheikh - Delegations from eighty countries and representatives from the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) Commissions convened today in Egypt, where they approved a final communiqué and heard the Declaration of Lisbon, which will be presented at the EU/Africa Summit.
The meeting, which took place in Charm el-Cheikh, in Egypt, was the last ministerial meeting before the Lisbon Summit. The Portuguese minister for foreign affairs, Luís Amado , and his Egyptian counterpart, Ahmed Abdul Geid Luí Michel, as well as the minister for foreign affairs from Ghana and the African Union's commissioner for economic affairs, Maxwell Mikwezalamba, began this work session.
The Declaration of Lisbon, a document that will be presented at the EU/Africa Summit, in Lisbon, and which was read during the meeting, defines a new partnership, based on interdependence and equal sovereignty and respect, which encompasses Africa as a whole.
«The EU/Africa Summit, which gathers the European Union and the African Union, offers us a unique opportunity to face together today's challenges in our continents, in the year when we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the European integration and the 50th anniversary of the beginning of African independence», says the declaration.
«We are together in the recognition of lessons and experiences from the past but also in the certainty that our common future needs an audacious approach that will allow us to face with confidence the demands of a global world», it adds.
The text recognises the ambitions of the EU and the AU and everything they shared in the past and now share in the present, and states that they are keen on building a partnership based on equality «going beyond the traditional giver-receiver relation», building a strategy of political partnership, based on common values, worries and challenges».
A final communiqué that stresses the importance of the strategic relationship between Europe and Africa was also approved during the meeting.
According to the text, the reinforcement of cooperation in various areas and the wish that the next Summit in Lisbon will give an impulse to the process started in Cairo in 2000 were welcome during the meeting.
«In this context, the ministers and heads of delegation highlighted the historic relation between the two continents and the need to continue to develop and reinforce the partnership between Africa and the EU, based on principles of constructive dialogue and mutual respect», adds the text.
The document also mentions that, during the meeting, a Plan for Action was accepted, at the centre of the Africa/EU partnership. Furthermore, the need for a previous implementation of its joint priority actions for the benefit of the African and European population, as part of a compromise to give substance to the reinforced political partnership was reinforced as well.
Final Joint Statement: