Meeting of the ACP-EC consultative group on Article 75 (tome IV)
On 12 February, a brief consultation meeting was held in accordance with Article 75 of Lomé IV, at ACP request.
The ACPs wanted to remind the Community of the resolutions which the various Joint Assemblies had made on the negotiations on a new International Cocoa Agreement.
The Group took this opportunity of reiterating the concern of the cocoa producers, especially those in Africa, about the critical situation in this sector and recalling the documents which the cocoa-producing alliance had presented in August 1991, pleading in favour of an International Agreement with economic clauses based on a system of export quotas.
Since it was impossible for some of the Member States of the Community to agree to such a system, the Commission, represented by Peter Pooley, first listened to what the ACPs had to say and then outlined the Community's attitude at the ICCO conference which began in London the next day ( 13 February). Although the Community objected to any discussion of the idea of a quota system as things stood, the indication was that it might be willing to look at other formulae for an International Agreement with economic clauses.
Namibia: Visit of Vice-President Marin (Windhoek, 15-17 March)
Dr Sam Nujoma, President of the Republic of Namibia, Prime Minister Mr Hage Geingob and Vice-President Manuel Marin held wide-ranging talks in Windhoek, including a discussion of the programmes of cooperation between Namibia and the European Community.
At the end of the discussions, President Nujoma and Mr Marin signed the National Indicative Programme for Namibia under the Fourth Lomé Convention, to which Namibia acceded in December 1990.
The National Indicative Programme identifies agriculture, rural development, education, human resources development and health as the main focal sectors for development cooperation under the Lomé Convention.
During the discussions, President Nujoma expressed Namibia's appreciation for the generous support received so far from the European Community before and since independence. The EC will make ECU 45 million (approximately R 168 million) available in grants for development assistance under the 1st financial protocol of Lomé IV. In addition, a minimum of ECU 6 million (approximately R22 million) will also be made available in risk capital through the European Investment Bank for the development of private sector activities in agro-processing and manufacturing and for transforming local natural resources. The risk capital would also be available for the development of productive infrastructure, as well as assistance to smal-land medium-scale enterprises.
President Nujoma impressed on Mr Marin the severity of the situation arising from the present drought and famine throughout the country and appealed to the European Commission for food aid and emergency assistance.
Vice-President Marin paid tribute to the leadership and people of Namibia for their successful transition to independence, and recalled that the principles of democratic self-government and respect for human rights enshrined in the Namibian Constitution are principles which the European Community is actively encouraging through the Lomé Convention in all 69 ACP countries.
Vice-President Marin extended an invitation to President Nujoma to visit the Community in Brussels at the earliest mutually convenient date, which the President accepted.
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