Mauritius: The Deputy Chief Government Whip, Mr Soobeersingh Dhunoo, represented the Mauritius Parliament during the 62nd Session of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) Parliamentary Assembly and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific -European Union (ACP-EU) Parliamentary Assembly, known as the Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), which was held from 25 February to 02 March 2023 in Brussels, Belgium.
Mr Dhunoo participated actively in various working committees of the Parliamentary Assembly. He was supportive of the EU’s calls for the immediate completion of its internal negotiations so that the new partnership agreement could be signed before June 2023.
Furthermore, the Deputy Chief Government Whip was deeply engaged in deliberations on the review of the JPA’s rules of procedure. He advocated for the creation of two standing working groups, namely: on trade and sustainable development and; on the management of EU funds and regional cooperation. These proposals will be debated at a specific session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly to be convened in a few months.
Mr Dhunoo also participated in discussions with his European counterparts in the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Development, Finance, and Trade, where he appealed for their support in adopting measures that embrace the spirit of partnership. He urged them to refrain from taking unilateral measures that could affect the economic development of the ACP States.
On this score, the Deputy Chief Government Whip called upon the EU to understand the vulnerabilities of Mauritius and the East African states party to the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA), during the ongoing negotiations between the two parties so as to expand the scope of the IEPA.
The meeting concluded with the adoption of three resolutions, namely on: finance and trade, environment and; social matters such as road safety.
ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly
The ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly is an essential organ of the ACP and acts as an oversight mechanism as well as a platform of discussion between the ACP and EU parliamentarians in order to reinforce North-South Cooperation, notably in areas of: trade; social and; development.
The 62nd Session was convened to discuss key issues pertaining to the future of the partnership between Europe and the ACP States since a new successor agreement to the Cotonou Agreement has been negotiated and is awaiting signature. The new Post-Cotonou Agreement is slated to benefit from a development package of nearly 27 billion Euros for sub-Saharan Africa spreading over the next seven years.