Minister of State Kitt Addresses Joint Parliamentary Assembly of EU and ACP (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific) Countries
Mr. Tom Kitt, T.D., Minister of State for Development Cooperation and Human Rights, today addressed the Seventh Session of the EU-ACP Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) in Addis Ababa. Minister Kitt was speaking in his capacity as President-in-Office of the EU Council.
Among the issues being considered at the Assembly are Conflict Prevention and Resolution and the establishment of a lasting peace; Poverty; Diseases and Reproductive Health in ACP Countries, and Economic Partnership Agreements.
Minister Kitt re-emphasised the key development themes of the Irish Presidency aimed at ensuring that the EU's great potential to contribute to the reduction of global poverty and insecurity is fully realised.
The Minister highlighted the need to ensure that EU commitments on poverty made at the Millennium Summit - the so called Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - should be carried forward across the range of all EU policies. He stressed the need to maximise the effectiveness of European aid through targeting it at the poorest countries, and through meeting commitments made on increasing aid flows and harmonising donor efforts.
The Minister reiterated the Irish Government's strong commitment to reducing the developing world's debt burden, suggesting that the international community can do even more than significant contributions made to date such as the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.
The Minister also took the opportunity to draw the attention of the Assembly to the Declaration by the Presidency of 16 February 2004 on the present crisis in Haiti.
Note for Editors: The ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly is composed, in equal numbers, of members of the European Parliament and Members of Parliament of each ACP State. The JPA is a consultative body whose role and functions include promoting democratic processes through dialogue and consultation, facilitating greater understanding between the peoples of the EU and the ACP countries, and discussing issues relevant to development and the ACP-EU partnership.
ENDS+++ 18 February 2004 Press SectionTop