|The Courier N° 146 - July - Aug 1994 - Dossier The Private Sector - Country Reports : Eritrea , Chad (EC Courier, 1994, 104 p.)|
by Ibrahim Khadar. & Sarah Reynolds
CTA has been sponsoring a series of four workshops to discuss the agricultural information needs of Central. Western, Eastern and Southern Africa. The first three have now taken place and the fourth is planned for later this year. At the workshop covering the Eastern region, which was held in The Seychelles last December, discussions highlighted a number of concerns. These centred around three main areas: the practical considerations surrounding maintaining and improving library and documentation services the fundamental need to ensure that those services provide a route to agricultural development that is relevant to the farmers on whom that development depends; and the need to improve the flow of information by ensuring that information specialists become communicators and not simply collectors and custodians of data.
Information and development
Developing countries in sub Saharan Africa, sometimes by definition and usually in practice, are highly dependent on agricultural production It is the mainstay of their economies and the principal occupation of their people. Governments have realised that national development depends, at least initially, on agricultural development and yet lack of consistent commitment to rural development has led to low agricultural productivity and high levels of external debt. These mark a trend away from the development so many work so hard to achieve.
Persistent food shortages mean that many countries are finding it necessary to use scarce foreign exchange to import food. Until agricultural production improves to the point where a reasonable and sustainable level of internal food self sufficiency is achieved, as well as the capacity to add value to agricultural export commodities, this downward trend is unlikely to be reversed. Yet development could be accelerated by improved access to information
In order to encourage greater use of scientific and technical information as a means to agricultural and socioeconomic development, CTA took the initiative to review the agricultural information needs of countries in Eastern Africa. Reports were prepared on Comores, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sudan. Tanzania and Uganda. These national reports provided the basis for preparing a regional overview of agricultural information needs in East Africa. The regional overview in turn, formed the basis for discussions at the workshop in Seychelles.
The review and workshop confirmed that a noticeable effort is being made at national and regional levels to increase agricultural production, through removal of price controls on farm products, strengthening of extension services and reorganisation and rehabilitation of agricultural research. However, there remains an obvious gap between known agricultural technologies that could lead to higher productivity and the adoption of those technologies by farmers. That gap could bebridged by putting effort, consistent commitment and energy into improving agricultural information systems - for without information there can be no' development.
Type of information needed: some examples
For national development to' move forward, agricultural productivity i the longer term has to move beyond the level at which internal food self-sufficienc is sustained The capacity to add value toagricultural products needs to be enhance and there are many instances. at village level processing for example, where the investment in technology is minimal but the role of information is crucial On example, although at an industrial level was given at the workshop. Ugand produces first class cotton and yet sewing thread is imported from China. It ma appear to some people that high class technology and perhaps millions of dollars are needed to produce sewing three locally, and yet a suitable machine costs only about US$ 300. The raw material there, the market is there and there are competent people who can do the work All they lack is information.
In some countries in the region farmers are becoming more and more interested in information relating to ma' kets for their products. For example the' are turning to horticultural products an other cash crops which depend on makets in urban areas or overseas They need toknow what products to grow at what time and the likely economic benefits from such an enterprise. But this information is not so readily available to small and medium scale farmers as it is to the big commercial enterprises. As a result many smaller farmers, on whom future developments depend, enter into such activities ill informed Without adequate information and advice, such farmers can find themselves at the mercy of middlemen, and they may be left with a product they cannot sell and their entrepreneurial spirit crushed This is a national as well as a personal setback.
Access to information , too costly?
Researchers need to be able to gain access to world literature to ensure that research being undertaken elsewhere on one problem is not repeated in every country where such a problem occurs.
In many ACP countries the cost of maintaining library services is becoming prohibitive. The Eastern African Framework for Action on Agricultural Research (FFA), which is committed to revitalising and strengthening agricultural research in the region found, during their study of the existing system, that many libraries were nearly empty Shortage of foreign exchange has meant that the number of international journals coming into libraries has been reduced to the few of common interest to many scientists. The specialist information needs of individual researchers are therefore not being effectively met
World literature on agriculture and development related issues can be accessed on international databases. The development of CD-ROM databases has provided developing countries with an additional means of allowing many users to have access to relevant literature published world-wide, However access to on-line or CD-ROM databases by users in developing countries is constrained by high fees which have to be paid in foreign currency.
Harnessing local sources of information
By the same token that researchers need to gain access to world literature, they also need to publish the results of their own research.
The strengthening or establishing of regional facilities for publishing research would enhance local publishing and provide an outlet for such work. These facilities would be far more accessible to researchers working on similar problems within the region. than if they tried to publish their work in international scientific journals. There is no shortage of excellent. relevant material. The challenge is to overcome the difficulties in establishing and sustaining such facilities.
A small number of regional scientific journals exist in the Eastern African region. I hey include the African C,op Science Journal, East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, Revue Agricole et Sucriere de l'lle Maurice, and Proceedings of the Co//aborative Committee for Agriculture for the Indian Ocean /elands (COCOLAG). However, some assistance is needed to ensure that these journals are published in a timely manner. Publishing can be further enhanced through training in scientific writing and editing. Support should also be provided for the publication and translation of books, conference proceedings, journal abstracts, and other publications relevant to the region. In addition to journal publications, researchers in the region should be encouraged to publish research results in other forms, such as digests, newsletters, occasional papers, current awareness notes, and bulletins.
Access to published scientific research is but one buttress of a muchneeded information bridge. Without the buttress of farmer knowledge and experience the information bridge collapses.
So an important aspect of agricultural information is the documentation of farming operations, not only dealing with technologies but also dealing with the social and economic aspects of farming. For example, the shortage of labour is often the overriding constraint to adoption of new technologies
The current trend towards farming systems research and the changing attitude of researchers towards their client farmers should in time discourage the top down direction of information flow which ignores the multiplicity of problems facing farmers and pursues a defined policy in an inflexible and unforgiving manner. The information bridge should provide for access in both directions. The one-way system has failed. But there is a need to provide better means of documenting farmer knowledge and the non-empirical experience for which there is not room in scientific journals.
Sharpening of communication skills
The gathering, storage and retrieval of information is too often seen to be an end in itself. Information and extension specialists have to respond more effectively to client needs and this means developing communication skills. It is not enough to say that the information is here. the door is open, come and get it! The institutions that are in the business of producing documents and information worldwide are piling up information every day and any documentation centre must have the capacity to sift through this information, classify it. seek out that which is relevant for a specific problem and process it into a form that meets the needs of the potential user. This applies equally to users from research establishments or those providing the service at the interface between information and farmers - the extension service. And all need to be aware that the information must also be integrated in order to meet those needs effectively.
Narrowly focused, commodity based information is too limiting but it is difficult to broaden when agricultural research systems have tended to separate livestock research from crop research or from forestry or other natural resources research activities Information has remained compartmentalised and most readers will have experiericed the annoyance of finding too late that the missing bit of information which would have been so useful has been sent to the wrong ministry or the wrong office or was being stored by someone who had no need of it.
Information systems in the fields of research and extension should adopt a client oriented approach. This could be enhanced by organising short courses on communication skills, for information and extension specialists. Short-term training courses should also be set up, focusing on the development of scientific editing skills, specifically for repacking information into a form that is usable by farmers and other nontechnical users of scientific and technical information
Information management at national and regional levels
Ensuring sustainable information services means building the information bridge on firm foundations. It means keeping the way clear so that all who need information can gain access to it. It means remembering that a bridge is a device for people who need to communicate with each other. It needs effort, consistent commitment and energy.
It will be misleading to assume that once constraints are removed development and increased prosperity will follow automatically As in the world of physics or chemistry, an external input of energy is needed to overcome disorder within a given system so for agriculture to move from the lower energy state of disorder and disintegration to the higher energy direction of development, it must be obvious that energy has to be introduced into the system. That energy must come in the form of national commitment to a clear policy of supporting agricultural information services in a form that meets the needs of the users but which does not depend indefinitely upon external support.
Participants at the Eastern Africa Workshop concluded that the identification and management of available agricultural information resources is crucial in order to ensure that all information resources are better coordinated and available in the national agricultural research systems (NARS) and also made available to coordinate the collection and dissemination of agricultural information. Cooperation at regional level should be established in order to improve efficiency in the use of information resources. In order to achieve this it was recommended that a lead institution, located within the NARS, be identified to act as a national information focal point with specific terms of reference and areas of responsibility. The roles of the national information focal points would include identifying national information and training needs as well as liaising with policy makers, planners, researchers, extension workers, and trainers.
Finally, workshop participants were unanimous on the need to establish a single system that unifies the region. This could be in the form of a regional committee for planning. monitoring and evaluating regional information programmes. The committee may operate under the auspices of a regional focal point The latter would support the activities of the regional committee by initiating, harmonising and facilitating collaborative activities regarding information and documentation in the region. I.K.&S.R.
The 19th ACP-KU Council of Ministers
- Positive results in implementation of the Convention
Mid-term review of LomV launched
The 19th session of the ACP-KU Council of Ministers took place as scheduled in Mbabane, Swaziland, from 18 to 20 May 1994. It was jointly chaired by the European union Council President, Theodoros Pangalos (Greek deputy minister of foreign affairs) and ACP Council President. Georgre Brizan (Grenada's minister of agriculture, trade and industry) and addressed by Vice-President of the European Commission, Manuel Mar and by the European monarch, King Mswati III.
Billed to examine progress in the implementation of the Convention and as the formal opening of negotiations for the mid-term review of LomV. the session had the additional significance, totally unforeseen, of convening at a unique period in the history of southern Africa A couple of days earlier South Africa had completed its peaceful democratic transition to majority rule with the swearing-in of Nelson Mandela as State President and the formation of a government of national unity.
South Africa and the Lomonvention
It should be recalled that South Africa has featured prominently on the agenda of almost every ACP-EC meeting (whether Council or Joint Assembly) since the inception of the Lomonvention Often poisoning relations. it once led to the holding of a special meeting in Lusaka. Zambia. in 1986 between foreign ministers of the European Community and those of the 'frontline' states. It was right and proper therefore. as Mr Brizan said. that the Council should feel proud of its own contribution to the change.
A source of tremendous satisfaction, especially for the exemplary manner in which change was brought about. South Africa, despite cropping up now and again during the three days of deliberation, in no way overshadowed the crucial objectives of the conference. It could not have, given the heavy agenda before the Council
However. what kind of association South Africa would have with the ACP Group and the European Union. which has exercised the minds of many since the country's democratication process began, did not emerge clearly. Mr Pangalos, in his opening address, referred to the cooperation programme unveiled in April which the Union is proposing to discuss with the new South African Government and to the meeting planned at the initiative of the German Government for September in Berlin to discuss cooperation between EU and southern Africa - a conference which the German representative, Mrs Ursula Seiler-Albering, said is not intended to be a one-off arrangement. Mr Pangalos pledged that the European Union will continue to support regional cooperation in southern Africa through the various instruments available under the Lomonvention. In this regard, Vice President Marinvited the countries of the region to suggest to him ways of moving this process forward
In the usual (probably the last) 'resolution on the situation in South Africa', the ACP-KU Council expressed 'the hope that solid and long-lasting relations will very quickly be established between the new South Africa, the ACP Group and the European Union in the interest of all parties'.
Dealing with main issues
The Council did not waste time in dealing with the issues of immediate concern to the ACP States with the mid-term review close at hand. Mr Pangalos set the tone in his opening address by praising the courage with which a number of African countries have undertaken political and economic reforms. He sought to reassure them, as well as the rest of the AcP Group of the Community's determination to continue its efforts to help them achieve sustainable development. The ACP-KU Council was meeting to take stock of what ACP problems were, to analyse them and seek solutions. 'Our ACP partners can count on the solidarity of the European Union' in this regard, Mr Pangalos affirmed pointing to the conclusion of commodity agreements and the Uruguay Round to which the Union has made positive contributions He expressed satisfaction with the implementation of financial and technical cooperation under LomV.
For his part, Mr Brizan emphasised the continued deterioration in the terms of ACP trade 'over the last ten years in particular'. he told the council, 'the movement of primary commodity prices can best be described as chaotic and the remuneration of producers has, for considerable periods. fallen below the costs of production'. The fall in export earnings and the resultant domestic fiscal crises have forced many countries into heavy borrowing and indebtedness and to undertake burdensome structural adjustment programmes whose costs are high and benefits uncertain. Change, he said, is not cheap. 'The human and material costs of change may be onerous and this is doubly true of those charges' that would be made to the LomV Convention.
Vice-President Manuel Mar however, put the review exercise in its proper context. Since the ACP States and the Community sat together to work out the philosophies and the content of LomV, he said, there have been very important developments in the international scene: the fall of the Berlin Wall and efforts to find new geopolitical equilibria the signing of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union and the institutionalisation of Community development policy, the conclusion of a new global trade pact and the emergence of new forms of North/South interdependence. These were realities which, whether one liked them or not. have become part of our world. That was why the Commission has proposed to adapt the Convention. The proposals are along three main lines: 'more emphasis in the Convention on democracy, human rights and good governance, new procedures for poliydialogue, and of course the review of a certain number of LomV provisions to make them more effective and to eliminate some of the red tape which exists in our relations'.
The article 5 boomerang
As already mentioned, South Africa was rarely absent from the minds of delegates. As a country which indirectly influenced (as far as many ACP States were concerned) the adoption of article 5 on Human rights in the LomV Convention, the irony of the situation was lost on no one The new democratic South Africa contrasted sharply with the situation in many ACP States which is still characterised by political instability. violence and undemocratic practices. The very grave situation in Rwanda. for example, was constantly evoked with speakers calling for an end to the massacre of innocent citizens, a halt to the fighting, the engagement of political dialogue and the emulation of South Africa's peaceful national reconciliation The proposal to expand article 5 to include democracy, the rule of law. good governance and human rights in the mid-term review could not have sounded more convincing and appropriate. While admitting that some ACP States still have to undertake remedial measures in the area of human rights, Mr Brizan stressed that the Group has not been found wanting in its embrace of these principles. 'All three regions can point to stable and reputable democratic regimes. some of which pre-date the introduction of democracy among some current members of the KU'. he said. 'Elsewhere, the citizens of ACP States have themselves taken up the struggle against autocratic and dictntorial regimes', he pointed out, citing the examples of the Congo, Madagascar and Zambia. Thus the ACP States accept the need to modify article 5 constructively to promote the desired goals, but Mr Brizan warned against the use of punitive measures as 'the principal instrument of change' These can be 'dysfunctional', he claimed. During his address, King Mswati III described the recent democratic reforms in his kingdom which he said were introduced after widespread consultation.
If there is any country where the Lomonvention has had very visible development impact it is Swaziland. The king enumerated some of the most important EDF projects in his country, and thanked the European Union for the support given not only to Swaziland but also to the ACP States as a whole - support which he described as reliable and constant. ln times of rapid change like this we naturally tend to rely more on our friends and partners to help us maintain a sense of economic stability in our efforts to develop and improve', he said. He expressed the hope that ACP EU cooperation will not stop in the year 2000 but will continue well beyond.
But, as Mr Pangalos pointed out at the formal opening of negotiations, survival is what is at stake in the mid term review. 'The continued vigour and survival of our cooperation are dependent on our capacity to face up and adapt to new circumstances and constraints', he said. Returning to the subject of democracy Mr Pangalos spoke of the Community's intention to seek the insertion in the Convention of an 'essential element' clause that would enable 'appropriate measures to be taken in cases of grave and persistent violations of human rights or serious interruption of the democratic process It is understood that such measures will take into account the specific nature of our relations with the ACP States, that they will be guided by objective and fair criteria and Will be in proportion to the seriousness of any case which may arise'.
In contrast to the Union, ACP States are laying considerable emphasis on trade cooperation in the mid-teom review in view of what they consider as the erosion of their preferences in the Community market. Vice-President Marpromised in his speech that the Commission will look carefully at their requests. 'We wish to enter into this exercise in an open and fraternal spirit. We are prepared to have a dialogue and look for solutions that are satisfactory for all parties'.
In between the opening ceremony and the formal opening of negotiations for the midterm review, the ACP-KU Council of Ministers examined progress in implementation of the Convention in several areas, notably on trade cooperation. Stabex and financial and technical cooperation. The Council's deliberation here was considerably eased by work already done by various ministerial committees.
Two ACP products bananas and rum - which are still experiencing problems in the European market, were examined by the Councl.
After the entry into force of the common banana regime on 1 July 1993 there has been a fall in prices for ACP bananas The Council took note of the fact the Commission was still studying a Regulation which is designed to help ACP States cope with the temporary disruption of the market and adapt to the new situation. An ACP request for transferability of unused quotas between ACP suppliers was also being examined.
The problem of rum concerns essentially the ACP request for an increase in quota. Here the acting Director-General for Development, Peter Pooley, informed ministers that there were two major difficulties: one was that the system for increasing quotas as set out in the protocol of the Convention was devised at a time when quite a different development of exports from the Caribbean ACP States was envisaged. No one expected the very large increase that had taken place in the last two or three years the second was that in 1996 the Union will move towards the orderly abolition of quotas. and the Commission has groat difficulties assessing the state of the Community market and the impact of the very large exports from the Caribbean. 'We have to avoid in particular that the increase in quota does not have the effect of moving us prematurely towards the abolition of quota, he said, promising that the Commission would make proposals 'shortly' and then have 'frank consultation with the ACP States'. The Council took note of his statement.
The enlargement of the European Union to include Austria, Finland, Norway and Sweden, it is agreed, opens new trade possibilities for the ACP States The Council was informed that, as there would be no transitional arrangements, the four countries would apply the 'acquis communautaire' regarding the ACP States on accession to the protocol to the Convention which is currently being negotiated.
On the Uruguay Round. ACP concerns were twofold. Firstly they feel that, in spite of all the efforts made to ensure that their interests are safeguarded in the European market, they would experience considerable erosion in their preferential margins. and secondly. they are alarmed that developed countries'including some Member States of the European Union', are advocating the introduction of labour standards in international trade This initiative. Mr Brizan warned, contradicts the tenets of the global liberalisation of trade. 'Some ACP states, he explained, 'depend on labour as a factor of production to increase their wealth and competitivity in international trade'.
The ACP States have indicated that they are currently evaluating the result of the Round with a view to submitting proposals to the Union for compensation. While noting this exercise, Mr Pangalos pointed out that the Convention does not guarantee the maintenance of ACP preferential margins, but rather provides for the safeguarding of their competitive position. Mr Marreminded ministers that the Agreement has only just been signed and it would have to be implemented first before its real impact can be determined A preliminary assessment of the effect of Community concessions in the areas of agriculture, tropical products and raw materials was under way and as soon as it was ready, it would serve as 'a basis for a joint ACP/KU working party'.
On the stabilisation of export earnings, the 1993 year of application and the'all destinations' derogation were the two issues.
The Council was told that, although there will be fewer losses as a result of increases in the world prices for coffee and to some extent for cocoa, as in the previous years there will not be enough resources to cover claims on the 1993 year of application And, furthermore, data for determining losses were incomplete. The Council. as a result, delegated its powers to the Committee of Ambassador.
An ACP request for the extension of the 'all destinations' derogation until the end of the current financial year did not receive a clear response. However, Mr Marfelt that such an extension by Member States of the Union would be'a political gesture of significant financial and economic content for the ACP States' - a sentiment which the Council duly took note of.
Financial and technical cooperation
Described by Mr Pangalos as the 'nucleus and dynamico element 'of the Convention, the implementation of financial and technical cooperation was judged by the Council to be 'very positive' This followed a report, accompanied by a resolution, presented by the Development Finance Committee (the Committee set up under article 325 of LomV to monitor and evaluate the implementation of this aspect of the Convention). The Council had no hesitation in adopting it and in congratulating the Committee for a job well done The report highlighted, among other things. (a) an upswing in overall EDF transactions in the past two years (7992/1993) with commitments and payments under the 6th EDF reaching 82.3% and 71% respectively, (b) the low-level participation of ACP consultants in EDF projects which it says should be addressed, (c) the encouraging progress being made in implementation of the facility on structural adjustment. (d) the various initiatives at regional cooperation and integration which it deems vital for economic recovery and sustainable growth and (e) the positive proposals that have emerged from a study on the use of the existing provisions of the Convention in favour of the least developed, landlocked and island ACP States.
Without debate, the Council took note of the resolutions adopted by the Joint Assembly at its February session in Strasbourg, resolutions on topics which differ little from those being dealt with at the Council. They concern the final report on sustainable development, the interim reports on LomV and on industrial development' end the report on the implementation of the Lomonventions. Mr Pangalos seized the opportunity to remind the Council of the significance for the European Union of the Joint Assembly which he described as a 'privileged instrument in our cooperation'. He went on to say the EU was 'happy that there is an increasing number of parliamentarians from the ACP countries' participating in its sessions and that it intends to propose during the mid-term review 'some measures to strengthen the efficiency of the work of the Assembly' which, he said, has been notable for its promotion of human rights and democratic freedoms in the ACP countries.
Mid-term review of LomV
Main themes and negotiating positions
Although LomV was signed for a duration of 10 years, its financial protocol covered the first five years of the Convention. This will expire in February 1995. In principle only the financial protocol for the second phase need be negotiated, but the profound changes that have taken place in the world since the Convention was negotiated and signed in 1989 dictate that it be adapted. Article 366 of the Convention itself gives both the European Union and the ACP States the right to request such an adaptation.
Over the past year both sides have reflected on the amendments they consider as necessary and each has produced a memorandum to this effect. Negotiations were formally launched by the ACP-KU Council of Ministers at its meeting in Mbabane, Swaziland, in May (see the main article). As the memoranda are not a point by point reply to issues raised by one side or the other and in order to help our readers understand these negotiations, we present below a summary of some of the main themes and the negotiating positions of the European Union and the ACP States as culled from their respective memoranda (including ACP explanatory notes). We indicate 'none' where one side does not have a clearly stated position. It is clear, however, that the ACP Group is laying more emphasis on trade cooperation while the Union is focusing on faster and more efficient implementation of projects and programmes. The proposals will mean amendments to some articles, titles, protocols and annexes (and sometimes new provisions). These are seldom indicated here to facilitate reading.
Human rights, democracy, rule of law and good governance
- The Union seeks to promote these principles in the ACP States by making them the 'essential element' clause of the Convention. Article S. which already deals with human rights, will therefore be extended to include these principles. In addition, the article will make reference to the promotion of an economic environment conducive to a market economy and development of the private sector. Funds will be earmarked to support measures in these areas. A sanction clause will be inserted to allow for the partial or full suspension of the Convention in cases of infringement. ACP Group affirms, 'within its own socio-cultural environment, its abiding faith in and deep commitment to' these principles and proposes their introduction in the Convention 'without direct or indirect conditionalities or cross conditionalities'. It agrees with the idea of financial support in pursuit of these values, so long as the request for such support emanates from the ACP States concerned. It advocates the introduction of 'an effective mechanism for the resolution of disputes arising from any perceived contravention'.
Parliamentary institutions (Joint Assembly)
The Union believes that the work of the Joint Assembly will be more effective if it reflects the democratic process taking place in the ACP States. It would thus seek changes to its composition and to the frequency of its sessions.
ACP Group (none)
Policy dialogue and programming of Community aid
The Union seeks to strengthen policy dialogue and to insert in the Convention a reference to the priorities of Community cooperation policy as stated in Article 130u of the Treaty establishing the European Community. In order to speed up implementation, the procedure of which will have be spelt out in the Financial Protocol and in Article 311, it proposes a more flexible system involving two phases of indicative programme. It also proposes that, where an ACP State, for reasons of civil war or suspension of cooperation, is unable to implement its indicative programme, the Community and Member States should be able to use the resources of the ACP State concerned in a different manner from that originally planned. As the proposals concerning priorities and a new flexible system of indicative programme will have financial implications, the Financial Protocol will have to be adapted accordingly.
ACP Group (none)
Support for economic development
The private sector
The Union hopes to strengthen and consolidate ACP States' basic economic infrastructure through the development of commercial structures, private investment, and financial services and banking. It would advance these by using the funding opportunities offered in the indicative programme, It will review the structure and operation of the CDI, and seek greater flexibility in the terms and conditions of the risk capital operations of the EIB European Investment Bank) and in its grant of automatic interest rate subsidies for loans granted from its own resources. It proposes the reservation of a proportion of risk capital for the least-developed countries to take account of their economic and financial difficulties.
ACP Group aims to place specific and sub stantial amounts of the financial resource in the Convention at the disposal of the private sector and to facilitate entrepreneurs' access to them. This will involve, among other things, targeted use of ElB's risk capital resources for all aspects of private sector development (including technical assistance, training, studies, etc), better terms and conditions (in particular as regards guarantees, interest rates, repayment and re-use of resources) and greater emphasis on equity investment aimed at reducing debtcreating transfers. More adequate financing, it says, is imperative if comprehensive interventions by the CDI are to be realised.
The Union is prepared to examine with the ACP States how they could benefit more fully from the trade advantages already available to them under the Convention.
ACP Group sees adaptation in this area as vital it the ACP-KU relationship is to have the greatest impact on the ACP States. This has become imperative because of the very many important changes that have taken place since LomV was negotiated. These changes call for an improvement of the operational mechanisms of the trade sector and for greater attention to be given to ACP competitiveness and diversification..
In this regard, the Group seeks amendments to the provisions of the Convention on access of agricultural products and for special attention to be paid to enhancing ACP opportunities for trade in services with the European Union following the outcome of the Unuguay Round and the Union's final offer during the negotiations (it should be noted that the chapter of the Convention on trade services was not concluded before LomV was signed due to the GATT talks). The Group proposes that resources be made available for the effective implementation of the provisions relating to cooperation on commodities and for the realisation of ACP's strategy in this area. As individual Member States of the European Union can no longer invoke safeguard measures (article 177.1 and 2) since November 1993, the ACP States want amendments to the relevant provisions to empower only the Union to do so. The Group also seeks improvements in rules of origin in view of continued ACP dissatisfaction with their implementation.
Effective use of instruments
The Union proposes to harmonise the use of Stabex funds with structural adjustment measures, and even to use the funds for structural adjustment if necessary. it proposes to reduce eventually the bases for transfer in the event of 'significant changes' (with exemptions for the least developed and landlocked states when their bases are below ECU 2 million and for island countries when their's are below ECU 1m) and for sums paid into block accounts under the framework of mutual obligations (FMOs) to be returned to the system's resources if me conditions for transfer are not met (the Union indicates that it reserves the right, in due course, to specify in more detail its proposals).
ACP Group feels that Stabex has not achieved the objectives set out in the Convention because of the inadequacy of funds and the new conditions introduced under LomV. It therefore will seek an increased allocation of funds for Stabex (to take into account the rate of inflation and losses incurred by the ACP States), the adoption of a special mechanism to enable ACP States, which have not received their total transfer entitlements, to have the amounts deducted from their debt obligations to the European Union. It also agrees that the least-developed and landlocked states as well as island countries should be exempted from any reductions in the event of insufficiency of resourcm during the year of application when they fall below ECU 2m and ECU 1 m respectively.
The Union estimates that in order to improve the effectiveness of cooperation and speed up implementation, and without prejudice to the prerogatives which the Convention gives to the ACP States, a limited readjustment of the powers regarding financial and technical cooperation is necesary. This concerns the attribution of responsibilities between the chief authorising officer and the national authorising officer (NAO) during preparation, appraisal and evaluation of programmes and projects. it suggests the setting up of a technical management unit to assist in management and execution. To enable these measures to be implemented, the Union proposes that a specific amount be set aside in each indicative programme. ACP Group proposes that, in order to accelerate procedure, the Delegate of the Union should be empowered to take onthe-spot decisions on some technical and financial issues which they are currently obliged to refer to the Commission - issues such as preparation of shortlists of consuitants, the approval of tender dossiers for all types of contract and the award of all contracts no matter their value (except where there is a disagreement between the NAO and the Delegate). It suggests that a system for settlements of disputes over implementation of projects and programmes be set up. And, with regard to technical assistance, the Group proposes that NAOs should, on their own initiative, use resource of the indicative programmes and/or counterpart funds to acquire the human and material resources necessary for effective and sustainable management of projects and programmes.
EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT FUND
Following, where required, favourable opinions from the EDF Committee, the Commission has decided to provide grants and special loans from the 5th, 6th and 7th EDFs to finance the following operations (grants unless otherwise stated):
Corrigenda - issue no. 144 of March-April 1994
In the article 'Fourth time lucky with democracy' which was published in our Ghana Country report, a mistake has crept in regarding the date of the return of Jerry Rawlings to power at the outset of the PNDC era. As perceptive readers have pointed out, the 31 December coup took place in 1981 and not in 1991 as we reported (see page 31). Our apologies for any confusion that may have been caused by this typographical error. In the article entitled 'Cultural cooperation between the European Union and the ACP States' by Pierfranco Alloa, an error appears in the table on page 102. In the column headed 'Amount (in ECU)' at point Vl.2 (Support for the Foundation for ACP-EC cultural cooperation) the figure should be 3 926 787 and not 11 676 787. In consequence, the total amount is 38 916 553 and not 46 666 553.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE
ERITREA: ECU 3.7 million towards a rehabilitation programme in the fields of health, veterinary services, water distribution, and the integration of former soldiers into civilian society.
Mali: ECU 1.934 million for the reconstruction of primary schools in the north of the country (Gao, Bourem, Menaka and Ansongo regions).
Niger: ECU 18 million for a programme aimed at improving the exploitation of pasture lands (provision of water points), meeting human and animal health needs and commercialising the livestock sector.
Senegal ECU 1.99 million for the relaunch of artisanal fishing (infrastructure development) and for strengthening SMEs
Aruba: ECU 3.1 million for an extension to the airport.
Wallis and Futuna: ECU 500 000 to acquire materials for public works aimed at providing road access for isolated communities.
Wallis and Futuna: ECU 1.125 million for works to bring the main road on the island of Wallis up to standard.
TRADE PROMOTION/ STRUCTURAL Adjustment
Cameron: ECU 20 2 million, of which ECU 15 2 million is from the structural adjustment facility, for a general import programme.
Chad: ECU 15.2 million from the structural adjustment facility for a general import programme
Cd'lvoire: ECU 28.8 million to support phase three of the general import programme.
Gabon: ECU 13 .2million, of which ECU 5 million is from the structural adjustment facility, for a general import programme.
Niger: ECU 20 million, of which ECU 11.9 million is from the structural adjustment facility, to support a general import programme.
Senegal: ECU 16 million, of which ECU 10 million is from the structural adjustment facility, for general import programme.
All ACPs and OCTs: ECU 2 million for a second global commitment authorisation to finance trade and international tourism events, through the national indicative programmes (NlPs). All ACPs: ECU 7 2 million for an ACP-KU trade development project aimed at helping ACP States to set up commerdal exchanges in order to increase their hard currency earnings.
Congo ECU 3.4 million for a project to improve the market
gardening belt in
Ethiopia. Kenya, Tanzania and
1.15 million for a regional project to support agricultural research.
Niger: ECU 1.8 million for a small-scale irrigation programme to allow for agricultural development in 79 villages in the department of
West Africa: ECU 1.93 million for phase
2 of the OFAR (On-Farm Adapative
Research) agricultural research project.
Gabon: ECU 14 million from Sysmin funds for three projects relating to mines in difficulty and two projects involving investment for diversification purposes in the Haut-Ogooue province and Lambarene region.
HEALTH Burkina Faso: ECU 1.35 million to strengthen interventions in respect of sexually transmittable diseases (STDs) and AIDS.
Zaire ECU 18.5 million for a programme of transitional support (PATS) for the health sector.
Cote d'lvoire: ECU 756 000 to support a project allowing the Ministry of Agriculture and
Animal Resources (Minagra) to strengthen its capacity to elaborate policies and programmes in the rural sector.
EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK
Botswana. ECU 4 million to finance small and medium-sized enterprises in the industrial, agro-industrial and tourism sectors. The loan has been granted to the Botswana Development Corporation which will intervene through partner banks that have close links with the private sector, a sound knowledge of local markets and priorities in the area of economic development. Namibia: ECU 6 million to finance the modernisation and extension of a water treatment plant serving the capital, Windhoek and its surrounding area where most of the country's rapidly growing industrial and manufacturing activity is situated. Papua-New Guinea: ECU 4 million to finance small and medium-sized enterprises in the industrial, agroindustrial and tourism sectors. The loan is granted to the Hank of Papua New Guinea which will direct the funds through commercial banks.
President Nujoma of Namibia
5am Nujoma, the President of Namibia, recently undertook his first official visit to the Commission since the independence of his country The President was accompanied by Foreign Minister, I Theo-Ben Gurirab, and was received by President Delors, Vice-President Marand Commissioner van den Broek.
Independent since March 1990, Namibia is a multi-racial, multi-party democracy with a free-market economy. Despite substantial progress in the political, economic and social fields, it continues to require help from the European Union which offers an increasingly important market for Namibian trade.
The position of this southern African country has always been a signrficant one. It is one of the key actors in the process of change that SADC (the Southern Africa Development Community) is undergoing in the wake of the elections in South Africa.
President Nujoma's visit helps to reinforce the close links between the European Commission and Namibia, and highlights the importance that the latter attaches to a strengthening of its cooperation with Europe.
Delegation from the French OCTs on 26 May, Vice-President Marhad a meeting with a large delegation from the French overseas countries and territories (OCTs). These included elected members and representatives of socio-professional groups from Mayotte, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, st Pierre & Miquelon, and Wallis & Futuna.
The visit took place in the context of the midterm review of the Association between the OCTs and the EU which entered into force for a ten year period in 1991.
The discussions focused on the implementation of the current association decision and on possible changes to:
- the trade regime (the OCTs are the only partners of the EU to benefit from completely free access for products originating in their territories); the right of establishment and the provision of services; financial and technical cooperation through the European Development Fund (EDF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB);
- the operation of the partnership in practice
Mr Marexplained to the delegation how this revision was taking place at an appropriate time given the new characteristics of the
. the hoped that it could be carried out speedily and in tandem with the LomV revision in respect of the ACP States, so as to avoid delays in the implementation of the 8th European Development Fund which was scheduled to come into force between now and the end of February 1995.
As to the content of the mid-term review, Mr Marsaid that the changes he was seeking were broadly those that had already been agreed by the Council as regards financial cooperation with the ACP countries. Mr Margave assurances to the delegation that, in the elaboration of its proposal to the Council, the Commission would take full accounts of the specific characteristics of the OCTs. He noted, for example, that the differences between British, Dutch and French OCTs were already formally recognised in their association with the KU. He believed that the new Council decision should establish a suitably flexible framework. As regards the indirect consequences for the OCTS resulting from the establishment of the single market, Mr Marstressed that a stronger and more unified European Union did not mean any diminution of solidarity on the part of the EU vis-a-vis its partners.
'Budgetisation' of the EDF
In conformity with the commitment made during the negotiation of the inter-institutional agreement of 29 October 1993, the Commission, at its meeting on 19 April 1994, adopted a report on the possible ways and means of 'budgetising' (ie integrating into the European Community budget). the European Development Fund. This report will be forwarded to the other two branches of the budgetary authority (the Council and the Parliament) for analysis and comments. If the report is favourably received by the other two institutions, formal negotiations will be initiated on the basis of the Commission's proposal. Whatever the outcome, 'budgetisation' of the EDF cannot be undertaken before 1996.
OCTs: Stabex transfers
Definitive decisions under the Stabex (stabilisation of export earnings) exercise for 1992, in respect of the Overseas Countries and Territories associated with the EC, have been taken by the Council. These decisions involve the payment of ECU 1 147 675 to the Falkland Islands and ECU 52 325 to French Polynesia for export losses on wool and copra oil respectively. In fact, the compensation rights involved amounted to twice what was actully decided, but it was necessary to reduce the sums paid in order to remain within the maximum amount budgeted for OCTs for 1992 (ECU 1.2 million).
Austria's decisive 'Yes' to EU membership...
In a referendum held on 12 June, the Austrian electorate voted decisively in favour of joining the European Union. The final result was 66.4 % in favour and 33 6 % against Formal accession is due to take place on 1 January 1995. Three other EFTA countries (Finland. Sweden and Norway) have referendums scheduled for later in the year
... but voters deliver a mixed message in European Parliament poll
As was widely anticipated, there was a low turnout for the European Parliament election, other than in those Member States where voting is compulsory. The outcome of the poll, which was held on 9 and 12 June throughout the KU, appears to have been de termined principally by domestic concerns with many electors choosing to deliver a midterm protest against incumbent governments. In certain countries. notably Denmark and France, 'Euro-sceptic' groupings enjoyed some success although the bulk of those who voted continued to support parties which are broadly in favour of the European integration process. The Socialists performed well in the UK and Portugal but fell back in France, Spain and Greece. The Christian Democrats advanced in Spain and largely consolidated their position in Germany and the Benelux countries but the centre-right did badly in France and Britain. Liberal gains in the Netherlands and the UK were offset by losses in Germany. The German, Irish and Luxembourg Greens did well but elsewhere, the environmentalists slipped back. Parties of the extreme right suffered setbacks other than in Belgium. Overall, the left-right balance of the new Par lament is unlikely to change much although the exact composition of the various groups in the chamber will take some time to emerge. The group affiliation of a large number of MEPs, notably from Italy (where Prime Minister Berlusconi's Forza Italia scored a striking success), has yet to be decided More than one third of the MEPs in the newly enlarged chamber of 567 members are newcomers.
Development Council (6 May 1994)
The ministers of the European Union Member States with responsibility for development cooperation met on 6 May under the chairmanship of Theodoros Pangalos, deputy Foreign Minister of Greece High on the agenda were the issues of coordinating development policies in the field of health. with particular reference to the battle against HIV-AIDS, and setting in train the 'operational coordination' of all the EU's development policy sectors. Member State representatives have. for some time. been urging greater coherence both between the various Community policiff - the CAP. development cooperation. external trade and so on - and between these policies on the one hand and those of the Member States on the other.
Declaring its concern about the insufficiency of resources allocated to the health sector. the Council anticipates additional means to help developing countries in this area. External aid, according to the resolution agreed by the Council, should achieve a certain balance, with priority being given to the poorest countries, the least-favoured groups in society and those facing the greatest threat. Women and children, displaced people, refugees and victims of catastrophes and wars deserved particular attention. On a strategic level, the Council considers, among other things, that it is worthwhile helping to improve living and health conditions, to finance preventive programmes and to support institutional reforms along with efforts to mobilise national resources - which includes contributions towards health costs by those who use the system It recommends that, within the framework of support for structural adjustment, a signficant allocation should be set aside for the health sector in national budgets With a view to making the European Union's development policies more effective, the Council decided to establish a system of 'operational coordination' which would embrace the new measures in respect of health. Within the framework of this coordination, meetings of EU and Member State experts will be held regularly The Council requested the experts to submit a list of countries which would, on an experimental basis, be the object of a follow-up in respect of the EU's development policies in the health sector The Commission will present an annual evaluation report. In accordance with the Council resolution, a more concerted approach with other donors should also be pursued. This applies notably to the World Health Organisatlon whose important role was emphasised The Council resolution took note of the numerous and enduring inequalities within developing countries as between urban and rural areas and among different social classes. It also referred to the emergence of new health problems such as the diminishing effectiveness of anti-malaria and antibiotic treatments, the rise of AIDS and growing drug use, not to mention the weakening of health systems occasioned by armed conflicts More specifically, as regards the HIV-AIDS epidemic, the Council called for a strengthening of cooperation between developing and developed countries . This was also an area where coordination between Community and Member State policies should be improved. As a priority, such policies should be designed to support national policies. grassroots initiatives and the work of the NGOs. The Council said that there must be a clear political commitment from states benefiting from assistance in respect of the rights of the individual, and notably those who are ill, in the fight against the spread of the disease. For their part, the donors must take the social, economic, cultural and ethical realities of the recipient peoples into account. The importance of education, stressed earlier in the resolution as regards health in general, was underlined again here. The resolution also refers to the need for measures to mitigate the socio-economic consequences of AIDS. The Council reacted favourably to the Commission proposal for financial allocations for the fight against AIDS. As regards the development policies of the Union as a whole, the Council approved a list of six countries in which Community coordination should be intensified with a view lo learning lessons which could subsequemly be applied in the EU's relations with all its developing country partners. The six states chosen are Bangladesh, Cd'lvoire, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Peru. Henceforth, there will be a system of preparatory meetings which will be held prior to major international discussions as well as an informal exchange of views among the Member States represented in the major international fora. The Commissioner with responsibility for Development Cooperation. Manuel Mar sugested that a meeting of all ministers concerned with these Commission should be set up. On behalf of the Commission he also made a commitment to present a working document on the subject in the autumn. A number of other points also appeared on the Council's agenda. On Rwanda, a decision was taken to study the idea of sending a mission from the Union to the adjacent countries in order to examine the refugee problem and the possibility that the crisis might spill over into these neighbouring states. Regarding the mid-term review of LomV, following an introductory expose by Mr Mar the Council reviewed the important points to be discussed with the ACP partners on South - Africa, the Council has just presented a set of initial measures, in the context of the cooperation between the Union and
South - Africa, to the new government. A conference on regional cooperation in Southern Africa will take place in Berlin on 6-7 September. On the subject of human rights. the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Member states (Coreper) has been given the task of studying proposed improvements to administrative procedures so as to allow the Union to react rapidly, in cases where such rights have been seriously violated. As regards migration and development, the Council asked the Commission to establish a working timetable for the adopting of a Community policy aimed at reducing migratory pressures from countries of the South lo those of the North. The Commission recently forwarded a communication on this subject to the Council This proposes that the general orientations of Community policy should include assistance in the fight against unemployment, better integration of women and young people, the reintegration of emigrants and tacking the problem of overpopulation in the countries concerned.
COMMON FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY
The European Union has, within the framework of its Common
Security Policy (CFSP), recently issued the following statements on events of international interest:
Statement on Rwanda 25 April 1994
The European Union, recalling its declaration of 18 April 1994 on Rwanda, appeals urgently to all parties to the conflict to bring an early end to the continuing violence in Rwanda.
The European Union expresses its full support for Security Council Resolution 912 and calls on all parties to cooperate in its implementation. The European Union expresses its appreciation and support for the efforts of the OAU and lo President Mwinyi of Tanzania for his initiative in convening on 23 April a regional conference to which the authorities of Rwanda and the RPF will be invited.
The European union urges the two sides to agree on the need to respect the Arusha agreement, which offers the best ovailable basis for national reconciliation.
For its part, the European Union is ready to assist in humanitarian aid as soon as a degree of normality has been restored and the parties involved have demonstrated their willing ness to respect the Arusha agreement.
Statement on Uganda 25 April 1994
The European Union welcomes the succesful holding of the constituent assembly elections in Uganda on 28 March 1994. The European Union notes with satisfaction that the people of Uganda were able, in great numbers and in a peaceful manner, to exercise their democratic right to vote and that the international observers were able to accomplish their mission. Whilst there were blemishes in the election process both of an organisational and a political character which will need addressing in due course, the elections were conducted in a satisfactory degree of transparency and the results by and large reflect the popular will The European union considers that the elections mark an important step in Uganda's democratic evolution, as it proceeds down the path of elaborating a new constitution and holding legislative and presidential elections.
Statement on Rwanda 5 May 1994
The European Union, recalling its declaration of 18 April 1994 on Rwanda. appeals urgently to all parties to the conflict to bring an early end to the continuing violence in Rwanda. The European Union expresses its full support for Security Council resolution 912 (1994) as well as for the statement of the President of the Security Council of 30 April and calls on all part)" to abide by them and to cooperate in their implementation. The European Union expresses its appreciation and support for the efforts of the OAU and to President Mwinyi of Tanzania for his initiative in convening on 3 May 1994 a new round of talks of a regional conference, to which both the authorities of Rwanda and the RPF have been invited The European Union urges the two sides to agree on the need to respect the Arusha agreement, which offers the best available basis for national reconciliation For its part, the European Union is ready to assist in humanitarian aid as soon as a degree of normality has been restored and the parties involved have demonstrated their willingness to respect the Arusha agreement.
Statement on South Africa
6 May 1994
The European Union warmly welcomes the holding of the first democratic elections in South Africa and congratulates all the People of South Africa and its leaders on this historic occasion. The European union is ready to support the efforts of the new government to accomplish the goal of leading the country to a democratic and non-racial society in which respect for human rights, the rights of minorities and the rule of law, the promotion of social justice and the elimination of all forms of discrimination, will prevail, Furthermore, the European Union recalls its ministerial decision of 19 April 1994, in which it pledged a package of immediate measures for the new South Africa. These will focus on a dialogue centred on important sectors for the new South Africa, such as trade, economic cooperation and development cooperation, in order to provide support for addressing the immediate needs of South Africans The measures will be coupled with the commencement of a political dialogue, in order to enhance and consolidate the democratic institutions upon which the new South African Society will build its future. The European Union rejoices for the new era into which South Africa has off;ciolly entered. It is confident that this era will be characterised by adherence to commitments made during the negotiating process and urges the South Africans to continue to find solutions through dialogue and peaceful means. The European Union expresses the hope that the new South African government will do its utmost to address the legitimate aspirations of all South Africans, who have dreamt and fought for this day, and whom it now represents.
Statement on Rwanda 16 May 1994
The European Union. recalling its declaration of 18April on Rwanda. again appeals urgently to all parties to the conflict to bring an end to the genocide now toking place in the country, The European Union expresses its full support for the United Nations' humanitarian efforts and in this context welcomes the resolution that is currently before the Security Council. The European Union looks forward to an urgent decision on measures which can be implemented soon. The European union welcomes the initiative of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights to carry out a mission to both Rwanda and Burundi and supports the call for a special meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights. The European Union expresses its support and appreciation for the efforts of the OAU and to President Mwinyi of Tanzania for their initiatives in convening a regional conference, to which both the authorities of Rwanda and the RPF will be invited The European union urges the two sides to agree on the need lo respect the Arusha agreement, which, through the way of negotiation, offers the best available basis for national reconciliation. In this context the European Union supports the call for the early imposition of an arms embargo on Rwanda, and calls on all concerned to refrain from any action that is liable to exacerbate the situation. The European Union is eager to increase its humanitarian aid whenever and wherever such aid can be brought to the populations that have suffered so cruelly from the violence In this respect it will continue its immediate assistance to refugees in the neigh bouring countries. Equally, it will endeavor, where conditions allow. to assist the stricken population within Rwanda. On 6 May, the European union decided to dispatch a Troika mission of development Ministers, to visit as soon as possible the countries bordering Rwanda. with a view to evaluating the humanitarian situation in the light of the influx of refugees.
Statement on Haiti 27 May 1994 The European Union condemns the provisional investiture of Emile Jonassaint, President of the Supreme Court of Haiti, as President of the Republic, by a faction in the Haitian Senate. The European Union regards this appointment as unconstitutional and reaffirms its full support for the efforts of both the United Nations, in particular through Security Council Resolution 917, and the Organisation ofAmerican States, to restore democracy and respect for human rights in Haiti and to bring about the return of the legitimately elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide Given that the investiture of Mr Jonassaint is in blatant defiance of the international community, thereby justifying the additional embargo measures recently approved by the UN Security Council, the European Union joins the Security Council in stressing that persons participating in illegal governments since the 1991 coup are subject to the measures provided for in Resolution 917
Statement on Malawi
27 May 1994
The European Union congratulates the people of Malawi, their leaders and members of all political parties on the successful transition to a democratic system of government. In this context, the EU welcomes the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections on May 17, in which there was broad participation by the people of Malawi, thus demonstrating their commitment to peaceful change. The European union also appreciates the peaceful and orderly way in which the elections were held under the supervision of the
Electoral Commission and acknowledges the result as the free expression of the people's will.
The European Union appeals to all parties to work together in their respective roles, in a spirit of cooperation, tolerance, mutual trust and nation-building, and expresses satisfaction at the entry into force of a new Constitution on May 18, which firmly entrenches the protection of human rights, a pluralistic system of government and the independence of the judiciary.
The European Union recalls that it has consistently encouraged and supported the promotion of human rights and the advancement of accountable, democratic and transparent government in Malawi. It reiterates its determination to support, in close cooperation with other bilateral and multilateral donors, Malawi's efforts to tackle its problem of poverty and to achieve economic stability and social progress.
The European Union is ready to assist the democratically elected government in assuring the protection of human rights, strengthening the new democratic institutions and fostering the political culture of pluralism and tolerance
Statement on South Africa
27 May 1994
The European Union, wishing to assist the new South African government, taking into account the decision of the UN Security Council of 25 May 1994 concerning the lifting on UN sanctions, and following the decision of its General Affairs Council of 18-19 April, has decided to lift all remaining restrictive measures in place against South Africa
Mr Marvisits Cuba
Vice-President of the Commission, Manuel Mar was in Cuba on 27-29 April on a visit which is expected to have important con sequences, notably as regards the organisation and strengthening of the EU's humanitarian assistance to this country.
In Havana, Mr Marinaugurated a liaison office for ECHO (the European Community Humanitarian Office) which will work in cooperation with NGOs already operating in the field. The office will be able to intervene autonomously in accordance with a set of competences agreed with the Cuban authorities The opening of this'antenna'follows a technical evaluation mission to Cuba which was undertaken in March on behalf of the Commission, and which identified serious problems facing the population including protein deficiencies, epidemics and increased mortality rates particularly among children.
ECHO has already had significant involvement in Cuba, committing some ECU 7.8 million during 1993, to help combat in particular an epidemic of optical neuritis The plan is for this medical assistance to be developed and increased in 1994. The newly-established office will manage the aid in close liaison with NGOs working on the ground (The Red Cross, Caritas, Medecins sans frontieres and Medicus Mundi).
A further element of the visit concerned the evolution of relations between the European Union and Cuba. Mr Marhad a long meeting with President Castro and also had discussions with the Minister of External Affairs, Trade and the Economy. These meetings provided an opportunity for a broad exchange of views on the humanitarian situation, but also on the economic and political prospects for the country.
During the press conference which took place after the discussions, Mr Marindicated that he was not in Cuba to talk about any hypothetical cooperation agreement. The negotiation of such an agreement, he said 'would presuppose a transformation of the economy and political conditions which have not been met' He had, he stated, spoken with the President about 'the way in which the European Union could contribute to the opening-up and progressive transformation of the Cuban economy into a market economy.'
The Commission Vice-President went on to stress that it was for the Cubans themselves to define this opening-up process. 'The EU can establish a framework for assistance and technical advice, having acquired considerable experience in other'transition'situations, but we need first to analyse the Cuban Government's reform programme.'
He concluded his statement to the press by saying; 'I believe that Cuba is at a crucial moment in its history, where it needs to make courageous responses at the political level.
It is evident that the world has changed and Cuba itself also needs to change. I hope that the opening up of the economy will be an importent element in stimulating and accelerating a political opening The recent efforts at working with the exile community, whilst of limited scope. represent a step in the right direction. Cuba must continue to follow the path of reconciliation.'
Commission-US meeting on Horn of Africa
On 3 June, Vice President Marmet with Mr Brian Atwood, who is Administrator of USAID and President Clinton's Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa.
The main purpose of Mr Atwood's visit was to coordinate the activities of the United States and the European Commission concerning aid in general and in the Horn of Africa in particular. The Special Envoy explained that, in his opinion. crisis prevention should form the backbone of international cooperation. In Africa, the US administration was focusing on the Horn where the situation is a cause of concern.
UN agencies (the FAO and WFP) estimate that between 4.5 million and 4.7 million people may be threatened by famine in the region. The food aid needs for 1994 are estimated at 2.24 million tons (Ethiopia - 1.19m, Sudan 0.575m, Eritrea 0.3m, Somalia 0.175m)
Global donor pledges to date amount to 1.52 million tons of which 0.462m is from the Commission food aid budget. AS recently as 24 May, the Commission pledged 80 000 tons (ecu 20m) of direct food aid for Ethiopia.
Vice President Marand Mr Atwood decided to establish regular contacts between their respective administrations. Henceforth, Us and commission officials will meet twice a year to discuss issues ranging from joint assessment of aid requirements to improvement of food security and disaster prevention.
As regards the Horn of Africa, Mr Marexplained to Mr Atwood the initiatives that the Commission has taken, particularly since the famine of the mid 1980s. These related to food early warning systems, food security and market liberalisation programmes and transport infrastructure to facilitate the distribution of aid.
Since the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) became fully operational at the beginning of 1993, it has become clear that the two biggest donors of international humanitarian aid could work together in this field. It is now proposed to extend this cooperation beyond humanitarian aid to tackle longer term issues, and to establish regular contacts between the two administrations with this in mind
On 9 June, Vice President Marmet with Dr Nafis Sadik who is Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in her capacity as Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Population and Development which will be held in Cairo in September
Mr Marstressed to Dr Sadik the willingness of the Commission to deepen its support for the UN Population Fund, and its full support for the objectives of the Conference. He underlined the point that population problems had to be approached realistically, with an open mind and in accordance with the needs of the developing countries.
The UNEPA was established in 1969 and is the largest multilateral agency for population activities. with an annual budget of some ECU 200m. UNFPA undertakes projects and programmes in almost all developing countries In 1993. the Commission committed ECU 18.6m to UNFPA and it has also contributed to the special budget of the Cairo Conference.
In May, the Commission, at the initiative of Mr Mar introduced a communication on the European Union position on population growth. In this document, the commission stressed the need for a substantial increase in public development assistance to population programmes by the year 2000 currently, the Member States spend approximately ECU 200m a year (0 4% of total development assistance). It is proposed that the increase should be attained both through new funds and through the redistribution of existing resources.
Present demographic trends show global population growth declining from 2.1% per annum in 1965-70 to 1.7% today. However, no decline has been recorded in sub-Saharan Africa (3%) or North Africa and the Middle
East (3%). Between 1991 and 2000 the world will gain an additional 1 billion inhabitants - the equivalent of the entire population of the world at the beginning of the 19th century.
In its communication, the Commission has set a target of ECU 300m as a minimum for annual expenditure in this area, to be financed from the resources both of the Ec budget and the Lomonvention.
Population policies essentially have three elements: social policy directed towards health and education; the provision of information on family planning; and increasing the availability of family planning and contraceptive devices.
A comprehensive regional humanitarian aid programme
In view of the scale of the Rwandan crisis, the Commission has decided to implement a comprehensive regional humanitarian aid plan to help those affected throughout the Great Lakes region.
Under this plan, a commitment of ECU 19 million has just been agreed. This is in addition to the ECU 10m allocated to the UN High Commission for Refugees (decision of 27 May) giving a total, in initial assistance, of ECU 29m. This is intended to provide assistance, for a period of three months, to Rwandan and Burundian refugees in Burundi (430 000), Rwanda (80 000), Tanzania (410 000), Zaire (130 000) and Uganda (8000).
A further sum of ECU 3m, which has been directed through the ICRC to help victims in the conflict zone, can be added to this figure.
Since 6 April, humanitarian aid to the value of ECU 35.73m has been provided by the European Community to help the populations affected. Aid from the individual Member States of the EU has reached almost ECU 30m.
ECHO aircraft for East Africa
The week commencing 16 May saw the arrival of four aircraft, operated by the European Community I humanitarian Office (EChlO). in Nairobi (Kenya). Djibouti and Mogadishu (Somalia). She aeroplanes will, henceforth, provide a regular link for the humanitarian agencies and other destinations in So malia as well as with Lockichoggio in Kenya which is the support base for humanitarian operations in southern Sudan This pilot project to provide regional assistance using aircraft was agreed by the Commission on 12 April and responds to a concern for more efficient and secure transport of the EU's humanitarian assistance in this region. The project is initially for a period of five months, and the sum allocated for this purpose is ecu 2.5 million. It is important to recall that aid deliveries and movements of humanitarian personnel in Somalia are generally done by air, for obvious reasons associated with security, the distances that need to be travelled, and the lack of infrastructure. Hitherto, ECHO has helped to finance transport which has been organised on an ad hoc basis either by NGO's operating in Somalia or through private initiatives As a result of the decision which has just been implemented, ECHO has now assumed financial and operational responsibility for a regional transport system. With one mediumized plane (capable of carrying 6 tonnes of supplies or 30 passengers) and three smaller aircraft (capacity: 2.5 tonnes or ten passengers) a better and more regular service, coordinated with the humanitarian agencies and meeting the logistical requirements, can be assured
The Commission has recently taken the following decisions to provide humanitarian aid (including emergency and food aid);
A summary of aid provided
The European Commission has just decided to allocate a further ECU 47.34m to help victims of the conflict in ax-Yugoslavia. This brings the total amount of humanitarian aid provided to more than ECU 762m ($900 million approx.) since the beginning of the war. The annual breakdown so far is as follows:
Thrs does not include the cost of the European Union's common action agreed by the Council on 22 December 1993, of which ECU 14.3m falls under the budget of the European Community.
The aid most recently agreed will be divided as
Amount (ECU thousands)
| || || |
Bosnia-Herzegovina: ECU 21.2m. A large part of this will be in the form of medical assistance - medicines and equipment, the provision of services and training actions. The hygiene programmes currently under way will be completed and a number of special psychosocial and educational projects will be developed.
Croatia ECU 11.29m. ECU 6m of this will be for an initial coordinated programme involving the Community's 'Task Force' (ECTF) and the NGOs which will cover the full range of hygiene requirements. In addition, a number of medical and psycho-social actions will be extended
Serbia/Montenegro: ECU 14.85m. ECU 8m of this has been set aside to provide basic foodstuffs to some 380 000 refugees and 150 000 others who are now in need following the deterioration in living conditions in the country.
Chad: ECU 287 000 to provide food aid for victims of the drought in the Kanem area, to the east of N'Djamena.
Liberia ECU 236 000 for additional shelters and basic sanitary installations in the Buchanan refugee camp and for the setting-up of nutritional centres in the town of Bong Mines.
Liberia ecu 133 000 for medical aid to a hospital and 12 health centres in the Cape Mount district.
Malawi: ECU 3.74 million to help Mozambican refugees in the country. The aid will be used, among other things. to maintain access roads to the reception areas. provide sanitary installations and equipment and support schools.
Nigeria: Ecu 340000 to build huts in the south of the country for people displaced as a result of ethnic conflicts.
Sierra Leone: ECU 973 000 to supply food aid for displaced people in the town of Kenema.
Somalia: ECU 688 000 to help victims of the civil war. The aid will be used to counter a cholera epidemic in Giahar, ensure the functioning of a hospital in the Gedo region and provide basic health care in the town of Borhache.
Somalia: ECU 165 000 to cover, for a six A month period, the costs of storage in Nairobi (Kenya), and transport, of medicines. These cannot be stored in Mogadishu because of the prevailing insecurity.
Somalia: ECU 1.153 million to continue and extend, for a period of six months, four medical/nutritional projects, three of which are in Mogadishu.
Sudan: ECU 17 million towards a global humanitarian aid plan designed to help victims of the continuing conflict in the country
Tanzania Ecu 680 000 to help Rwandan refugees with medical assistance, medicines and basic essentials.
Tanzania: ECU 450 000 to help Rwandan refugees meet their immediate needs, particularly as regards access to drinking water.
Togo: ECU 200 000 for immediate assistance to Ghanaian refugees who have taken refuge in the north-west of the country following the ethnic conflict in northern Ghana.
Zaire: ECU 320 000 to help people of Kasai origin who have been expelled from Shaba to Kananga. The aid will be used, in particular. to provide water and medicines.
Bolivia: ECU 230 000 in the form of food and medical aid to help isolated rural communities affected by the torrential rains in the La Paz and Cochabamba departments.
Bolivia: ECU 250 000 in further aid to complement the above.
Peru: ECU 780 000 to help victims of the recent floods in the north of the country and for essential medical assistance for people in the Satipo province. north-east of Lima, who have been displaced as a result of terrorist actions.
Armenia: ECU 200 000 to maintain. for a six month period, three centres for handicapped people in Yerevan, Gueremavan and Vartenis.
Kirghizistan: ECU 250 000 to buy tents for victims of floods, landslides and avalanches provoked by the spring thaw.
Russian: ECU 940 000 to extend for a further six months. a project to provide hot meals for indigent people in Moscow.
Tadjikistan: ECU 360 000 for a drinking water and sanitation programme to help people displaced by the civil war.
Ukraine: ECU 350 000 for medical aid to help child victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Algeria: ECU 550 000 to provide food aid and basic essentials for Tuareg refugees from Niger and Mali in the south of the country.
Palestine: ECU 2.4 million for medical aid for the people of the West Bank and Gaza, in the form of medicine supplies, medical equipment and technical assistance
Yemen: ECU 300 000 in medical aid for victims of the civil war.
Yemen: ECU 200 000 to take care of the wounded in two camps, to provide basic esentials for displaced persons and to help Somali refugees in the country (in the Al Kawd camp)
Afghanistan: ECU 1 million for essential equipment and medical supplies for displaced people
Bangladesh: ECU 500 000 to provide basic essentials for victims of the recent cyclone
Laos. ECU 1.5 million to help victims of the drought which has led a shortfall in rice production
Pakistan ECU 715 000 to help Afghan refuges in the country by
increasing the capacity of the
Nasirbagh reception camp in the Peshawar district.
The Commision took a decision to finance food aid as set out in the chart which follows:
('Memories of a Foyalais. From the islands of the Americas to the banks of the Seine) - By Victor Sable - Malsonneuve et Larose, 15 rue Victor Cousin, 75005 Paris 267 Pages 1993
Victor Sable is a likeable man. No-one who has met him has failed to be won over by his joie de vivre. his warmth and a culture embracing literature. the humanities and the law (he was once a lawyer). He has and indeed still has, for he is in fine form - all the quotations and the eloquence of the lawyers of his youth, with, as he admits, a occasional grandiloquence that is both appreciated and necessary in election campaighs in the French West Indies. In this book he recounts lively and amusing memvies of a period covering three Republics.
He hails from Fort de France in Martinique, where his father was a judge in whom 'derisory treatment and noble robes were a natural combination 'although he was very fond of both his (very different) grandfathers Victor Severe, MP and mayor of Fort de France, and Francisque Sable. first deputy mayor in a small local authority in the south.
Victor Sable, an intellectual achiever, went to study law in the Quartier Latin in Paris. He then practiscd as a rawer, but soon became a member of the Council of the Republic. a member of the French National Assembly and a Euro-MP for Martinique (which became a French department in 1946). As chairman of the influential inter-professional Committee for the Banana Industry, he was bound to sit on the European Parliament s Committee on Development, attend ACP-EEC Joint Assemblies and take an interest in the application of Lomnd the basic OCT issues (structural funds tax, agricultural produce, alcohol and sugar).
Like many other West Indians (he himself refers to Professor Louis Achille. as the first coloured person to yet the agregation) throughout his long life Victor Sable has been an example of a combination of cultures, of a tolerant and democratic approach and an art of living which people certainly need in the difficult world of today
Rapport 1994, La Llberte de la Presse dans le Monde
(Freedom of press in the world Report for 1994)
By Reporters sans frontieres, with the help of Le Point - Supplement to the Lettre de Reporters sans frontieres No 57 - April 1994 ISBN 2 908830-15-9 - FF 85-FS 22 - Bfrs 520 - Can$ 20.
This reports attacks on freedom of the press in 149 countries in 1993 - 124 journalists were in prison on 1 January 1994 and 63 died for their opinions or were killed in the course of their work in 1993, almost half of them in Europe.
L'emploi au Sud - Regard croises Des exemples au Zaire, au Perou et au Chili
Employment in the South - A comparison - Examples in Zaire, Peru and Chile
By G. Fonteneau. Lokota Ekot'e Panga, Isabel Yepez del Castillo, Ignacio Larraechea and Marthe Nyssens Approche Louvain-la Neuve
Approche and Gresea, two associations working for solidarity in development in North and South, bring out research in a combined edition to allow for comparisons of employment issues in different parts of the world
Le Secteur non-structure urbain en Afrique - Rospective et perspectives - Biographie commentee
The non-structured urban sector in Africa - Past and future - An annotated bibliography
ILO - ISBN 92-2-207747-4 Geneva - 1994
This lists and comments on 250 recent (French and English) publications on Africa's non-structured urban sector and its employment and growth potential.
The state of the world's refugees, The Challenge of protection
First two-yearly report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Penguin Books - ISBN 0-14023487-x - USA - 1993 Currently available in French. Available in German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese soon.
This takes stock of the crucial problem of refugees (18.2 million around the world and about 24 million displaced within their own countries in 1993). pleads for the right of asylum and makes an urgent call for the international community to step in to prevent crises in the future.
Water for sustainable development in the 21st century
By Asit K siswas, Mohammed Jellali and Glenn E. Stout Oxford University Press ISBN 0 19 563302 4 - Delhi - 1993
It is increasingly apparent that water cannot be wasted without compromising the future of mankind and that management of water quality is vital to the future of the planet. The authors consider how this complex task can be sustained over the coming century.
Environment and agriculture - Rethinking development issues for the 21st century
Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development ISBN 0-933595-85-9 - Morrilton (USA) 1 994
Papers of a May 1993 symposium during which development specialists looked at the connections between the environment and agriculture and on the need to cater for them in future development decisions.
Developing African agriculture New Initlatives for institutional cooperation
W.E. Swegle D.F. SAA/Global 2000/CASIN - Mexico - 1994
Report of a July 1993 workshop one of a series of seminars looking at ways of boosting food security in sub-Saharan Africa and other subjects related to the development of the continent
Schwarz-Weisse Mythen - Afrika und der Entwicklungspolitische Diskurs
Black and white myths - Africa and the development policy debate
By Dirk Hansohm and Robert Kappel - Munster - Hamburg - Lit 1993 - 2 - Revised edition - 1994 - Bremer Afrika Studien, Bd 5 ISBN 3-8947--699-2
The African crisis is primarily one of global concepts of development policy, the authors maintain. The discussion of African development problems is abstract and dichotomic and the 'truths' which emerge from it are often no more than ideological prejuoices which neither explain the reality nor open the way for solutions. This book attempts to highlight the central myths in the discussion and suggest practical alternatives.