Uhuru laments EU decisions targeting OCAPS counties
Lewis Njoka and PSCU
CONCERN: President Uhuru Kenyatta has voiced concerns by the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) regarding the increasing number of unilateral decisions by the European Union (EU) targeted at the organisatiion’s member nations.
President Kenyatta, who is the President-in-Office of the Summit of the 79-member institution since 2019, regretted that the EU doesn’t sufficiently engage the OACPS before taking some of its decisions, contrary to the provisions of the Cotonou agreement.
“The revised Cotonou agreement maintains the scope of the Groups’ engagement with the EU to include conflict prevention and good governance under political dialogue.
However, the unilateral application of measures, including sanctions, by the EU as imposed on Eritrea and Burundi, has created sensitivities and concerns within our Group,” the head of State noted.
President Kenyatta, who is on a two-day Official Visit of Belgium and the European Union, spoke on Tuesday in Brussels when he addressed a meeting of the OACPS Committee of Ambassadors.
On the blacklisting of OACPS countries on grounds of deficiencies in anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism, the President said his office, as the President-in-Office, had unsuccessfully raised the matter with highest levels of the EU’s hierarchy.
“However, despite the high-level intervention including by my Office, the list was adopted by the EU in May of 2020.
I share the concern of affected OACPS that the unilateral approach adopted by the EU is against the spirit of the post Cotonou Partnership Agreement.
“I have raised our concerns with high-level EU interlocutors in our meetings, including with the Presidents of the EU Council and Commission as well as the European Parliament,” President Kenyatta said.
He said there was a need to convene a Heads of State and Government summit to discuss post pandemic recovery strategies.
“You may recall in June, 2020 during the Extraordinary Inter-Sessional Summit of OACPS Heads of State and Government, we deliberated on the effects and consequences of Covid-19 pandemic to the members and regions of the OACPS; and paid particular attention to identifying opportunities for global solidarity and action.