Members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of states have expressed concerns on the elimination of European Union’s sugar quotas scheduled for 2017 and called for additional time to complete their adjustment processes.
They made the call at the 11th Regional Meeting (East African Region) of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) that ended over the weekend in Port-Louis.
In a communiqué issued after the three-day meeting, a copy of which was obtained by PANA here Monday, the delegates underscored the importance of regional integration in creating an enabling environment for economic growth, employment, development and poverty reduction and called for the harmonisation and rationalisation of regional integration processes, given the multiple and overlapping memberships of regional organisations, which could compromise the objective of integration.
They highlighted the special vulnerability of Small Island Developing States and the impact of the EU’s policy of ‘differentiation’, and expressed the belief that states should prioritise infrastructural investments as a catalyst for the development of other sectors.
The delegates called for attention to be paid to the needs of island-nations in marine and air transport, as well as digital connectivity, in order to assist them and to help them benefit fully from regional integration.
On the conflicts in Africa, they recalled the need to target their root causes and to focus on conflict prevention, strengthening early warning systems and exchange of information and appropriate responses in a coordinated and timely manner.
They also stressed the need for effective control of supply of small arms and weapons to prevent armed conflicts and violence.
”There is need to strengthen institutions to combat piracy, enhance judicial cooperation efforts to bring pirates to justice and trace the ransom money in the international financial system because of the possible links to other criminal activities and networks,” the communiqué said.
It expressed concern over the challenges generated by rapid urbanisation, such as effective waste management, adequate supply of physical and social infrastructure, as well as safe drinking water.
It emphasised the need for political will, decentralisation strategies and appropriate legislative frameworks to encourage sorting, recycling and sustainable management of household, industrial and electronic waste.
The communique said there was the need for effective and adequate regulation to ensure ethical practices and avoid money laundering, and cautioned against over-reliance on the financial sector.
”There is the need for the right balance between the financial and other sectors”, it said.