8th session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly comes to an end.
The 8th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly has voted on reports on ACP-EU political dialogue, food aid and food security and two urgency resolutions regarding the situation in Darfur, Sudan and on the hurricane damage in the Caribbean region
Regarding the report on the ACP-EU Political Dialogue, EPP-ED members Michael Gahler and Mario Mantovani introduced to the report the idea that political dialogue should also focus on issues such as the drain of 'dirty money' out of developing countries. According to estimates, about $500bn is illegally transferred and is therefore not available in poor countries to meet the most pressing human needs. The report calls on the ACP-EU to investigate the problem of corruption and illegal financial practices, which often involve 'partners' in the EU and other donor countries, in order to get a firm grasp on the amount of dirty money flowing out of developing and transitional economies, its effect on these countries and its effect on development aid programmes.
Food aid and food security
The report on Food Aid and Food security by John Bowis MEP and Joses Sanga MP from the Solomon Islands was also accepted with a broad majority. With this report, ACP and EU parliamentarians agreed on food policy and policies regarding food security, food governance and food aid. One of the many points they have agreed upon is that the European Commission and other donors should purchase food aid from developing countries, preferably from or as close to the affected region as possible, not least to support developing countries' economies and reduce transport and environmental costs, but also to avoid the distortion of local markets.
Situation in Darfur
The most important points mentioned in the final text are the support for an international investigation of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in Darfur by all parties and the acceptance of the possibility of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council. The sanctions can be economical and can affect the Government of Sudan and individuals in order to obtain full compliance or full co-operation with the international community. The last main point is that ACP and EU delegates are calling for immediate steps to stop the proliferation of arms into the conflict zone of Darfur.
EPP-ED spokesperson Jana Hybášková MEP said: "This is a major success because it is a joint resolution of European and mainly African Members of Parliament. It is the Government of Sudan that has primary responsibility to protect it's entire population within its territory and to maintain law and order, while also respecting human rights. This is very important in a country dominated by an Arabic oriented part of the country. The proliferation of arms is worsening the current humanitarian situation in Darfur, and States like China, Russia and Iran which sell arms in return for oil are also partly responsible."
For further information:
EPP-ED Press Service
Eduard Slootweg, Tel: + 32 475 721280
More press releases:
25/11/2004: Developing and European countries calling for immediate action in Sudan. Jana Hybášková MEP
23/11/2004: Developing and European countries calling for immediate action in Sudan. Jana Hybášková MEP and Nirj Deva MEP