Press Release - Cyprus’ Foreign Affairs Minister at the 24th EU- ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly
30.11.2012, 09:58 (CET)
Cyprus’ Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, participated at the twenty fourth EU - African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), which took place on November 27-29 in Paramaribo, Suriname. Dr. Marcoullis, represented the Council of the EU at the meeting, on behalf of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton.

Composed of Members of the European Parliament and Members of Parliament from ACP States, the Joint Parliamentary Assembly is a consultative body and a political forum for discussion of issues linked to the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement (Cotonou Agreement).  It is one of the three joint institutions of the Cotonou Agreement, together with the ACP-EU Council of Ministers and the ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors.

Addressing the Assembly on November 29, Dr. Marcoullis highlighted the importance that the EU attributes to the vital role of parliaments in monitoring policies, and stressed that the JPA contributes to increasing political visibility of the issues discussed and the accountability of the EU institutions.

Reviewing the evolution of relations between the EU and the ACP countries since the first meeting of the JPA in 1976, the Cypriot Minister underlined: “Our relationship has developed from a donor-recipient one, to a partnership, integrating political cooperation, new trade arrangements, the sharing of fundamental principles, such as human rights, democracy, rule of law, good governance and compliance with international justice”.

Pointing to the importance of continuing dialogue with the objective of eradicating poverty, forging stronger alliances on new challenges, and further strengthening regional integration, the Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed the significance of discussions on the future perspectives of ACP-EU relations.

Dr. Marcoullis also informed the JPA on the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) Conclusions and discussions of November 19, particularly on Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo, (DRC) and Somalia; issues on which the Assembly also adopted relevant resolutions.

Referring to issues relevant to the Caribbean region which were also debated during the JPA, the Cypriot Foreign Affairs Minister emphasised that, with the adoption of the Joint Caribbean-EU Partnership Strategy, EU and CARIFORUM member states have made substantial progress in consolidating their partnership.

With regard to international issues of mutual concern, Dr. Marcoullis highlighted that access to energy is a global challenge that needs to be addressed in a comprehensive manner. Talking about the post-2015 framework of international development, the Dr. Marcoullis underlined that it should be built on the present Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which have been very successful in gathering political and public support behind a global development partnership.

“In my view, our new framework needs to be comprehensive and global in nature, it needs to be relevant for all countries-small and large, rich and poor- which should all have a role in taking forward the new global agenda,” said the Cypriot Minister. 

Concluding her address, she also stressed the need to ensure coherence and complementarity between the reflection on the post-2015 agenda and the follow-up to the outcome of the Rio+20 Conference.    

During the Assembly proceedings Dr. Marcoullis, responded to questions by the Parliamentarians on behalf of the Council of the EU.

Communications Officer
Charis Christodoulidou

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Telephone: +357 22401165