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My Take On It: ACP unity is essential in going forward with ACP-EU Agreement

“Every Kingdom that is divided against itself will be destroyed and every house and city that is divided against itself will not stand.” – Matthew 12:25b

African, Caribbean, and Pacific states (ACP) do not need to be members of international organizations such as the United Nations and others if they enter into the next round of the 20-year ACP-EU Agreement that takes away their vote through a treaty clause embedded in the Agreement. The treaty clause, if and when signed by the member states in 2023, will transform the 27 (soon to be 29 with Finland and Denmark) European Union into a 106-strong giant in international corridors, where all members of the grouping (aka ACP-EU) will vote alike.

ACP-EU Agreement

The ACP, formed to coordinate sustained development and poverty reduction is made up of 79 countries with a population of 740m (48 African, 16 Caribbean, and 15 Pacific countries), while the 27 European countries boast of a population of 447.7m.

 On July 6, 2022, the Secretary General of the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific states (OACPS), H.E. Mr. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti appealed for closer unity of the 79-member organization. He made this appeal to the grouping ahead of a number of crucial international meetings, among them, the 77th United Nations General Assembly in September, the World Health Summit 2022 in Germany in October, UN Climate Change Conference 2022 (UNFCCC COP 27) to be staged in Egypt in November and the Convention on biological diversity COP 15 in Montreal, Canada in December.

However, while the OACPS SG bemoans the reluctance of the UN to change to pave the way for more participation in such entities as the Security Council because this would diminish the big five veto powers, he nonetheless encourages the OACPS to unite with the EU bulldozed Agreement. Currently, all four regions have a council of ministers; while a European co-chair is present in the African, Caribbean, and Pacific councils of ministers, no such co-chair exists, and no non-European sits on the European Union council of ministers.

The OACPS SG call to the African, Caribbean, and Pacific member states to unite with the European Union is an oxymoron, self-contradiction, inconsistent, incongruent, a conundrum, and an absurdity since he is asking the member states in the organization to self-destruct, becoming European in the international voting system. He is asking the ACP countries to allow themselves to be silenced; to silence the wishes of 740 million people for the sake of 447 million Europeans. This is in the same paragraph that SG Chikoti derides the big five SC members (US, UK, France, China, and Russia) for their fear of power being diminished under new global geopolitical rules.

In my social media grouping discussing the in-plain-sight power-grab of the European Union, SFB cited concern about the type of “unity” the EU is still pushing, quoting the SG Chikoti encouraging and enticing the ACP countries and saying that it “is our duty to continue to work together with the EU for the benefit of our citizens…”

SFB said the SG’s call appears to be the same kind of blind unity with the EU in negotiations for which the present treaty advocates. It appears that the December 2022 date for the date for provisions to be added to the Agreement has shifted to June 2023.

This is a great open window as it gives member states room for advocacy and collaborative sessions in countering the EU’s deceptive power-grab.

Ashems Songwe, MP, has advanced that the ACP should use its numeric strength to resist the evil deceptive strategy of the EU.

The next international meeting is of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) which begins in New York from September 13-27, where general comments sessions begin on September 20, 2022.

The ACP member state must meet planned outreaches of like-minded member states to mister talking points to counter the EU onslaught on the sovereignty of 740 million people, whatever their economic strength. The ACP must vehemently resist the EU’s desire to silence ACP countries, desire to steal the votes of the 79 sovereign, free, and independent nations

They also need to put a checkmark on the EU and others who believe that by putting the term “human rights” in front of something, then the ACP member states should shiver and fall into line. According to the UN Human Rights Charter nations have the right to exist and rule in accordance with the wishes of their people. No entity must, therefore, refrain from entering into sovereign nations to push its agenda on the premise that that sovereign nation does not have money to proceed with its development programs.

ACP nations must come to the negotiating tables fully equipped and with counter and fine-tuned strategies and counter-proposals. By all means of unity, the ACP must stop the geopolitical power-grab and resist the introduction of sensitive issues such as abortion, comprehensive sexuality education, and other controversial notions that are not in the Human Rights Charter, but the EU is aspiring to gain traction and use the ACP group to imbed the notions into soft laws of the United Nations. This is outrageous and the ACP member states must assert themselves.

Seven hundred and forty million African, Caribbean, and Pacific peoples, most of them living below the poverty line, are depending on the delegates in these international meetings to represent them and their interests, not those of persons living in Europe.

To get to the 1990s the ACP-EU Cotonou, ACP countries on several occasions, walked out of the negotiations in protest. The same approach MUST be used by our crop of delegates.

NOTHING ABOUT US WITHOUT US must be our motto going forward.

ACPs must unite! Start by a call to get rid of the EU co-chair on regional ACP councils!

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Janet Karim
Janet Karimhttp://maravipost.com
Candidate Master of Education (2019) EBD, The George Washington University (GSEH); Highly organized, charismatic and persuasive Communications Specialist and accomplished Editor with 10+ years in the communications field, offering expertise in all phases of print; international development work experience with the United Nations headquarters (10 years, and two years UNDP field work); field experience (Malawi) - Oxfam, UNDP, UNICEF and UNESCO; and electronic and social media productions. Superb public speaker who communicates effectively with target audiences through strategic dept at event planning and PR campaigns. Conscientious, diplomatic and tactful in all communications. Highly-motivated and trained media professional possessing exceptional writing and editing skills with ability to draft engaging and effective content; contributor for two leading national dailies (Nation Malawi - 2015-PRESENT; Times Malawi (2004-2007). Other areas of expertise include grant writing and project management. Highly trained in international, regional and local lobbying skills. Collaborates with international companies to initiate development policy change and foster public awareness, with deep commitment to social justice and health care equity; especially in work towards ending child, early and forced marriage, and promoting the human rights of the elderly. Microsoft Word, Excel, desktop publishing, broadcasting, television programming, social media management.
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