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ACP Group calls on EU Council To Honour Commitment To World’


PRESS RELEASE

ACP Group calls on EU Council To Honour Commitment To World’s Poor

Paramaribo, SURINAME 29 November 2012/ ACP: The Secretary General of the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas has expressed profound regret at the European Council’s proposal last week to cut development aid funding by more than 7%, compared to figures put forward by the European Commission. This includes a disproportionate 11% slash to the European Development Fund (EDF), which benefits 930 million people in ACP countries.

“While we appreciate the fiscal challenges that some of our European partners are facing, we do not believe that now is the time to be cutting back on development finance. To do so is rather short-sighted. Vulnerable communities in ACP countries are the worst hit by the global economic crisis – we should all show solidarity and responsibility with the world’s poorest during these times of need, rather than attempt to balance budgets at the cost of millions of lives,” stated the Secretary General.

“With the Council’s proposed figures, I fear we would be falling far short of achieving the internationally agreed targets for halving the number of people living in absolute poverty under the Millennium Development Goals for 2015. Our partners also still need to honour their commitments of 0.7% of GNP for development assistance. There are new global challenges of climate change, food security, universal access to energy, and ensuring peace and stability for societies in serious political upheaval, which require global collective action.”

The Secretary General welcomed the stance of European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and his Commissioner for Development Cooperation Andris Piebalgs, who proposed at least €30 billion for EDF-11 covering the period 2014-2020, following the €22 billion under EDF-10 for the period 2008-2013. However, the Council's proposal of €26.9 billion under EDF-11 amounts to a reduction in real value terms.

“The ACP Group urgently calls upon the European Council to reconsider their proposed cuts to Heading 4 of the EU budget, including the severe weakening of the European Development Fund, which has been a crucial development instrument for our countries and a symbol of the historic relationship of cooperation between Europe and the developing world.”

The ACP Group is made up of 79 member countries (with South Sudan soon to be its 80th member), 40 of which are classified as Least Developed Countries, and 36 of which are Small Island Developing States. Under the Cotonou Accord, the ACP Group (except Cuba) enjoys a privileged relationship with the European Union based around trade relations, development cooperation and political dialogue. / END

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THE ACP GROUP

The ACP Group is the largest trans-national intergovernmental organisation of developing countries in the international system, with 79 member countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Today, the main goal of the Group is to drive South-South solidarity and North-South cooperation for the sustainable development of ACP countries and their successful integration into the world economy. Originally brought together as a result of the Association Clause in the Rome Treaty of 1957, which established the European Common Market, the Georgetown Agreement of 1975 formally established the ACP Group as an intergovernmental association.

LE GROUPE ACP

Le Groupe ACP est la plus grande organisation intergouvernementale transrégionale de pays en développement, avec 79 États membres d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique. Aujourd’hui, le but principale du Groupe ACP est la promotion de la coopération Nord-Sud et la solidarité Sud-Sud par le développement durable des pays ACP et leur intégration dans l’économie mondiale. Constitué au départ en application de la « clause d’association » du Traité de Rome de 1957 instituant la Communauté économique européenne, le Groupe ACP a été officiellement institué comme organisation intergouvernementale par l’Accord de Georgetown de 1975.


ENDS

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