Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, says the Government is committed to the negotiation for a successor arrangement to the African, Caribbean and Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU) Cotonou Partnership Agreement, when the existing facility expires in 2020.
She also welcomes the EU?s"strong signals? expressed during the recent 42nd Session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers in Brussels, Belgium, of its commitment to the continued strengthening and renewal of this relationship.
Senator Johnson Smith was speaking at a reception, organised by the EU Delegation in Jamaica, to mark Europe Day on May 8.
The event was held at the Mona Visitors? Lodge, University of the West Indies, in St. Andrew.
The ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, which was signed in Cotonou, Benin, in June 2000, has been the framework for the EU?s relations with 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, including Jamaica.
It focuses on climate change, food security, regional integration, aid effectiveness, and equality of partners, among other key areas.
Senator Johnson Smith said the Agreement?s expiration is expected to spur changes in ACP-EU engagements.
She reiterated the Government?s hope that"the post-Cotonou arrangement will take account of the interest of small, vulnerable, highly indebted middle-income ACP countries, such as Jamaica"
"We look forward, therefore, to the conclusion of a new agreement that will be beneficial and will remain positive and vibrant in the years ahead. We say this in all sincerity, as, over the decades, we have enjoyed very positive relationships in the areas of trade, politics, culture and development,? Senator Johnson Smith added.
For her part, Head of the EU Delegation in Jamaica, Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, said the European Union is"unwavering in our commitment to strengthen cooperation with partners, notably with Jamaica, who share these values that we hold so dear to our hearts"
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