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European Commission - The Cotonou Agreement

Adressing Key Development Challenges

The Partnership Cotonou Agreement is the joint ACP-EU instrument in the fight against poverty. Since 2005, a major economic and financial crisis took place, threatening development progresses made by many countries. The food crisis has hit hard the ACP populations and placed food security as major concern. Global warming was acknowledged as a pressing reality to which ACP States need to adapt urgently. The second revision of the Cotonou Agreement brings a complete framework to address the multidimensional aspects of development. It strengthens ACP-EU commitments and tools towards the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals and focuses on food security and agricultural policies, climate change mitigation, health and education.

  • The ACP and EU reiterate their commitments and agree to make a concerted effort to accelerate progress towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In light of the multidimensional aspects of development cooperation, the MDGs will be addressed through an integrated approach (Art.1). Besides, the second revision makes the Millennium Development Goals a key criterion of the needs and performance assessment to determine the indicative resources of ACP States (Art.3.1 of Annex IV);
  • The second revision of Cotonou demonstrates a strong political will to address Climate Change as serious global development challenge which threatens progress towards the achievement of the MDGs (Art.32 bis). The revised Agreement sets the objectives and the activities to be supported in order to mitigate and adapt to climate change;
  • The revised Cotonou proposes an integrated agricultural development policy. It stresses the importance of agriculture policies to achieve Food Security and addresses agriculture as an economic sector to be developed. Research and investment will be supported as well as efforts to enhance the competitiveness of ACP commodities exports in an evolving trading environment. Support to agriculture shall also contribute to the management of natural resources and the functioning of agricultural markets;
  • In the same spirit, the EU and the ACP States give special consideration to Fisheries in the revised Partnership Agreement. Fisheries contribute significantly to poverty reduction and to food security. Fisheries shall consequently be supported through capacity building and specific development strategies (Art.23a).
  • As regards Health, the revised Cotonou insists that cooperation develops equitable access to comprehensive and quality health care services. The new Art.31bis promotes a global approach of HIV/AIDS to prevent it from hampering development. Cooperation shall support ACP States in developing and implementing comprehensive multisectoral strategies, strengthening national health systems and ensuring universal and reliable access; 


Last update: 17/02/2012 | Top