European Law Monitor

Make your voice heard!

European Law Monitor newsACP-EU: Zimbabwe and Darfur at the centre of the debate

Zimbabwe, a country suffering from serious famine and huge violations of human rights, was the subject of lively debates at the 13th session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, which completed its work in Wiesbaden on 28 June. Among other events, the Assembly adopted a resolution calling for the deployment of an international force in Darfur.

In the absence of a delegation from Zimbabwe, it was decided in advance that there would not be a vote on a resolution on the situation in that country during this meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA).   Clear positions on the regime of Robert Mugabe were nevertheless expressed during the debates.
Certain ACP delegations criticised the holding of a debate in Wiesbaden given the absence of Zimbabwean delegation. JPA Co-President Glenys Kinnock (PES, UK) said she did not understand the reluctance to discuss the issue of Zimbabwe: "People are suffering in the country." She pointed out that Nelson Chamisa, an MP from the opposition and spokesperson for the Movement of Democratic Change was attacked and suffered a head injury at Harare airport on his way to a meeting of JPA in Brussels in March.   "Our Assembly has the responsibility to address this issue because Zimbabwe has signed the Cotonou Agreement", she concluded.
Peya Mushelenga (Namibia) expressed his disagreement with "all those who took sides on the issue of Zimbabwe" and said that other topics should be addressed like the situation in Palestine, the blockade on Cuba and Iraq.

Send an international force to Darfur

In a resolution adopted on developments in Darfur, the parliamentarians consider that the deployment of a hybrid UN/African Union force "must take place as soon as possible".   They call on the Sudanese government to "disarm all the rebels including the janjaweed, and to end the bombing of the Darfur region".
"We must avoid what happened in ex-Yugoslavia, where we were late taking action and late in intervening and we all know the consequences that followed," said Josep Borell (PES, ES) Chair of the European Parliament Development Committee.
Mr Borrell will lead a delegation of five MEPs to Darfur from 30 June to 6 July.
The Assembly also adopted reports on:

       * Good governance, transparency and accountability in relation with the exploitation of natural resources in ACP countries - co-rapporteurs: Michael Gahler (EPP-ED, DE) and Evelyne B. Cheron ( Haiti)
       * Migration of Skilled Workers and its Effect on National Development   - co-rapporteurs: Sharon Hay Webster ( Jamaica) and Luisa Morgantini (GUE/NGL, IT)
       * Poverty reduction for small farmers in ACP countries • in particular in the fruit, vegetable and flowers sectors   - co-rapporteurs: Kilontsi Mporogomyi ( Tanzania) and Carl Schlyter (Greens/EFA, SE)

The JPA brings together Members of the European Parliament and MPs from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states which have signed the Cotonou Agreement that governs EU relations with the ACP for a 20-year period.
The next meeting of the JPA will take place in Kigali (Rwanda) from 17 to 23 November 2007.

Reproduced with the permission of the European Parliament REF.: 20070625IPR08339