ACP-EU-JPA: Namibia to champion discussions on climate change

12 Jun 2016 12:20pm
WINDHOEK, 12 JUN (NAMPA) – Namibia will have an opportunity to champion discussions on climate change, drought, conservancy management and water harvesting during the 31st Session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and European Union (EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA).
The joint parliamentary assembly starts in Windhoek on Monday.
Some 350 Parliamentarians are expected to attend the session to discuss issues affecting member states, which include economic integration, social and environment issues, as well as the political situation in the member states.
In an interview with Nampa on Friday, the Head of the Namibian Delegation to the Assembly, Veikko Nekundi said Namibia is in a privileged position to champion critical issues which are pertinent to the advancement of the country’s citizens.
Nekundi, McHenry Venaani, and Faustina Caley are the Namibian Members of Parliament who are attending the JPA session.
“We are dealing with issues of drought, water shortage and climate change affecting people in our country in particular and in the southern African region in general. This situation calls for modernisation of water harvesting and investment in water farming,” he said.
Other matters to be discussed are the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) signed on Friday in Kasane, Botswana by the EU and Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, including Namibia, pursuing economic integration.
“We want to make sure the implementation of EPAs does not threaten the small industries of developing countries, and Namibia is one of the countries with small economies. If we do not put our weight behind our industries, they might be swayed by European multinational companies,” Nekundi said.
He also indicated that during the debate, they will urge European member states to not interfere in the internal political matters of sovereign states.
President Hage Geingob is expected to officially open the JPA on Monday.
The assembly will provide an opportunity for a strategic discussion on the future of partnerships between the EU and ACP countries after 2020.
The relationships between ACP and EU countries are based on the Cotonou Agreement, which will expire in 2020.
The Cotonou Agreement is a treaty between the EU and ACP countries aimed at the reduction and eventual eradication of poverty, while contributing to sustainable development and to the gradual integration of ACP countries into the world economy.
It was signed in June 2000 in Cotonou, Benin by 78 ACP countries, except Cuba, and 15 member states of the EU.