Apia (Samoa), 15th November 2023: the 46th Session of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (OACPS) and the European Union (EU) Council of Ministers was held on the 15th of November 2023, in Apia, Samoa.
The Joint Council was co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste, H. E. Mr. Bendito dos Santos Freitas, representing the OACPS and the Secretary of State for International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain, H. E. Ms. Pilar Cancela Rodríguez, representing the EU.
This is the final session of the Joint Council of Ministers under the Cotonou Partnership Agreement.
The Council took stock of the achievements, challenges and opportunities of the longstanding relationship between the OACPS and the EU which started in 1957 following the signing of the Treaty of Rome.
This enduring relationship was further solidified by the signing of successive partnership agreements, starting with the first Yaoundé Agreement in 1963. Other Agreements include the Lomé Conventions from 1975 and the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) signed in 2000.
The highlight of this session of the Council will be the ushering in of a new Partnership Agreement between the OACPS and the EU, called The Samoa Agreement. Following signing and ratification by the Member States, the new Agreement will serve as the legal framework for the relationship between the 79 Member States of the OACPS and the 27 Member States of the EU.
The new Agreement prioritizes six areas, including:
- democracy and human rights,
- sustainable economic growth and development,
- climate change,
- human and social development,
- peace and security,
- migration and mobility.
The delegation of Botswana was led by the Ambassador of Botswana in Belgium and the Head of Mission to the European Union H.E. Mrs. Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, who represented the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Dr. Lemogang Kwape.