Outgoing Zambia’s representative to the African, Caribbean and Pacific-European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU JPA), Dr Sebastian C. Kopulande, Member of Parliament for Chembe Constituency has said that if the post Cotonou Agreement was to meet the needs and aspirations of the EU and ACP countries, there was need to embrace multilateralism.  Multilateralism acknowledges the growing importance of interdependence and cooperation in addressing current global challenges such as poverty, underdevelopment, climate change, terrorism and migration. Dr Kopulande, therefore, called for an overarching and legally binding ACP-EU framework for the future partnership that builds on previous achievements and shared values such as the United Nations’ Agenda 2030.
He said this during the 53rd Session of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly and the 37th Session of the ACP-EU JPA that took place from 13th to 20th March, 2019 in Bucharest, Romania, when he submitted his final report on the Strategic Significance and Dimension of the ACP-EU partnership. The report raised many key issues, including the need for the post-Cotonou Agreement to ensure support of ACP states’ economic development through increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI); to combat tax evasion and avoidance which is depriving the EU and ACP countries of vast amounts of income needed to enhance socio-economic development; and to tackle climate change as a key component of the joint ACP-EU collaboration, among others.
The ACP-EU JPA unanimously adopted the resolution on the report with some amendments. The report will go a long way in informing the on-going negotiations for the post-Cotonou Agreement which seeks to give a new momentum to the relationship between the EU and ACP States.
The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly was created out of a common desire to bring together the elected representatives of the European Community (the Members of the European Parliament) and the elected representatives of the African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP countries) that have signed the Cotonou Agreement.