On the 13th-14th October 2016, ACP YPN attended the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) at the European Parliament, Brussels. In the words of Bora Kamwanya, ACP YPN’s Advocacy and Policy Officer who attended the JPA for the first time, “the ACP-EU Standing Committee was very hectic but great. I learnt a lot in a short space of time and I look forward to coordinating ACP YPN’s flagship initiative, the JPA Youth Forum at the JPA’s 32nd session in Nairobi this December.” To find out more about the first Youth Forum at the 31st session, have a look here.
Bora Kamwanya attended the Committee on Social Affairs and Environment. This Committee discussed and considered the draft report on the ‘Challenges for family farming and small-scale agriculture production in ACP countries’ after the exposé of the two co-rapporteurs, Uladi MUSSA from Malawi and Maria HEUBUCH from the European Parliament. The Committee on Social Affairs and the Environment adopted the draft motion contained in the report for a resolution. The vote on this resolution shall take place in Nairobi (Kenya) at the 32nd Session of the JPA, from 19-21 December 2016. The Committee also discussed the role of sport as enabler for education and poverty eradication, for which two rapporteurs were appointed to draw up a report on the subject.
On the second day, the Commission and the EEAS followed up on two resolutions adopted by the JPA. The first one on: How to improvise economic and social conditions in developing countries, including the contribution of family business, in order to prevent health disasters. And the second one on: Migration between ACP and EU Member States: causes, consequences and strategies for common management. Tthe Committee also held an exchange of views with the Commission on the topic of European Consensus for Development; and with UNESCO on the issue of Education in the ACP countries, which explained the “Education for all” movement. The Committee was then given a presentation on Female Genital Mutilation: how to eradicate it by Ms. Liuska Sanna, director of End FGM European Network and the Hon. Linah Jebii Kilimo from Kenya. Another important issue that has been raised was the issue regarding Africa’s orphaned generation. UNAIDS presented statistics to end AIDs by 2030 and STOP AIDS NOW, represented by Ms. Anne Dankert explained how we could move towards an AIDS free generation.
The JPA was created to bring together the elected representatives of the EU, the European Parliament and the elected representatives of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states and signatories of the Cotonou Agreement in order to promote positive relations between the global North and South. There are three Standing Committees: (1) Committee on Political Affairs, (2) Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade, (3) Committee on Social Affairs and the Environment. Since the entry in force of the Treaty of the EU and EU enlargement, the work of the JPA has evolved; it now includes the promotion of human rights and democracy, and the common values of humanity. Since then, many joint commitments have been undertaken and can all be found via the website here.
By Mr. Bora Kamwanya, ACP YPN Advocacy and Policy Officer