Zambia’s Delegation to the 61st OACPS and 42nd ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly Supports Multilateralism

The Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the European Union Joint Parliamentary Assembly (ACP-EU JPA), successfully held the 61st and 42nd Sessions, respectively, in Maputo, Mozambique, from 25th October to 2nd November, 2022. The ACP-EU JPA was officially opened by His Excellency Eng. Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, President of the Republic of Mozambique. Zambia was represented by Hon Sibeso K Sefulo, Member of Parliament (MP) for Mwandi Constituency and leader of delegation, Hon Binwell Mpundu, MP for Nkana Constiuency and Hon Davies Chisopa, MP for Mkushi South Constituency.

During plenary discussions, delegates, including the Zambian delegation, unanimously agreed that enhanced multilateralism and cooperation were key to resolving global problems, which were in most cases reflected in national challenges. It was discussed that multilateral partnerships and solidarity were effective mechanisms to combat global threats such as maritime crimes, terrorism, climate change effects, famine and war.

Pertinent side meetings included discussions on political situations and road safety in OACPS and EU member States, as well as a special presentation by Vanuatu, regarding its initiative to call for a non-binding Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on climate change. The objective is to table before the ICJ, a Climate Change Resolution, during the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which will request the ICJ to provide clarity on how existing International Laws can be applied to strengthen action on climate change. The initiative seeks to save the environment and the Paris Agreement, as well as understand the obligations of States in protecting the rights of present and future generations against the adverse effects of climate change.

In contributing to other topics discussed in plenary, Hon Sefulo, MP, particularly urged all OACP-EU members to treasure the unique and democratic political, economic and social dialogue that defines the OACPS-EU partnership. She also emphasised the need for member States, especially the OACPS, to enhance the visibility of the ACP-EU JPA in their respective countries. In addition, Hon Mpundu urged the EU to increase its support to the OACPS, in terms of technological transfer and agricultural investment, in view of the effects of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Similarly, Hon Chisopa, MP, called for genuine and real trade relations that would ensure increased market access for OACPS products in the EU. He also called on the EU to further reduce trade barriers, as a way of encouraging meaningful growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

In addition, the meeting saw the nomination of Hon Sefulo, MP, to be part of the Bureau, the decision making body of the ACP-EU JPA. The Zambian delegation also participated in other side events, including forums for the ACP-EU JPA Women and Youth. The two forums respectively discussed a number of issues including Gender Based Violence against women and girls, Genital Female Mutilation, as well as the engagement of the youth in decision-making processes.

The Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU JPA co-presidents, Hon. Peter Kenilorea Jr. of the Solomon Islands and Hon Carlos Zorrinho of Portugal officially closed the Assembly, with an emphasis on the need for solidarity and unity in diversity.

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