|The Courier N° 137 - January - February 1993 Dossier: Development and Cooperation - Country Report: Mauritania (EC Courier, 1993, 100 p.)|
by Antoine LABRY
Collapsing prices have hurt coffee producers everywhere, especially producers of Robusta in Africa. Researchers are playing their part to contain the effects of the crisis by looking at the problems of the quality and competitivity of African coffee.
'There is no point in asking for a quota for African coffee if the producers are then unable to provide good quality beans to fill it', Mr Mpungi Buyungu, Deputy Secretary-General of the Inter-African Coffee Organisation, points out, in a good summing up of the present drive to obtain a stable and remunerative price, if possible via an international agreement, and to improve the quality of the product and restore an image which has become seriously tarnished over the past few years. The first thing, the price of coffee on the international market, has essentially to do with the negotiations which the International Coffee Organisation (ICO) is running with a view to getting the international agreement renewed.
But, Mr Mpungi warned, 'in view of price levels over the past few years, the price bracket to be used under this new agreement (if ultimately reached) will have to be low in comparison with the last one. We therefore have to concentrate on productivity and bring down the cost of producing African coffee, which is currently too high', despite the low cost of labour on the traditional holdings which still dominate the West African coffee industry.
Selling at a loss
The situation in Cd'Ivoire bears this out. The break-even price in the industry there is CFAF 340 per kg (CFAF I = FF 0.02), but this year's top price on the international market is CFAF 190, so the State, through the stabilisation fund, is subsidising coffee to the tune of CFAF 150 for every kilo sold - an obvious paradox, for the nation's biggest earner up until 1988-1989 is now a financial burden on the State.
Professor Renoste, former director-general of the IRCC (the coffee and cocoa research institute), says that one aspect of the productivity problem is that industrial crops and food crops are vying for space and, assuming more land is used for food crops, the coffee yield per hectare will have to improve if output is to be maintained. 'Is it reasonable for Cd'Ivoire, where demographic expansion is high, to use such large tracts of some of its best land for such a poor proposition ? How is it that yields on village plantations are still stagnating at around 150 kg per ha while industrial plantations can turn out 1500 or 2000 kg? And above all, is it reasonable to have these industrial plantations occupying only a tiny amount (about 100 000 ha) of the country's 1.3 million ha of coffee-growing land?
Benoit Daviron and Frans Lerin say much the same: 'Pioneers and clearers of virgin forests are no longer responsible for most of the increases in world production. The intensification of coffee production, an idea which came much later to this industry than to other agricultural products, is now becoming the key to the market and competition between producers'.
Cd'Ivoire is now paying for its negligence in growing food only on the ever rarer stretches of land left free by coffee and other export crops. Fraternitatin, the Government daily, which does not make a habit of criticising the authorities, sounded the alarm in mid-August. Under the headline of 'Famine at the gates', it announced that Cd'Ivoire was in danger of food insecurity, 'as a prelude to unprecedented poverty'. Although the drought, an unusually severe one for this country, had something to do with all this, the Abidjan daily thought that a policy which had 'always' neglected food crops was also to be blamed for the ongoing situation. There were 100 000 t of fertiliser for the nation's 400 000 ha of industrial export crops in 1985, it says, both figures being 10 times greater than those for food crops grown for the local market.
Professor Coste also criticises the fact that there is no proper agricultural policy. 'What chance is there of the researchers. who have warned the authorities time and time again, responding to such a rundown situation ?', he wants to know. And Mr Mpungi backs this up, pointing out that 'productivity depends essentially or the authorities', a reference to the marketing systems and the amounts hived of at every stage in the process. The coffee and cocoa industries of most of the producing countries in Africa are indeed being overhauled, but political resistance, which varies in extent from one country to another, impedes progress. But the quality of African coffee has got to be improved, because the competition from Arabica is severe.
New dynamism for research
African coffee needs a brighter image in the leading consumer countries and, with dwindling prices and the demand for diversification of African agriculture, productivity has to be boosted too. Research can help with both of these, provided it is given new lease of life.
A progress report on African coffee research run for the CTA (Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Research) by the IRCC 2 has shown just where the weak points lie. For a start, financial means are short. 'With the price slump in 1986-1991', it says, 'the countries of Africa are no longer in a position to finance agricultural research and development. There has been a slow down in production as a result, followed by a period of stagnation and ultimately decline, while research activity is tailing off and has even been stopped altogether in some countries'.
Another handicap, the report says, is that the researchers have to work in isolation and are cut off from the producers. 'Their international contact tends to be with the scientific centres where they trained or with the expatriate researchers who work with them'. The African research network currently being set up under the auspices of the IACO (see box) could be a good answer.
Robusta could recover
However, Robusta coffee is not in such a poor position as is generally supposed. E.D.F. Man, the coffee handler, who is as much an authority on statistics as the ICO, brought out a report in July saying that Robusta had maintained its share of the market since the international agreement broke down in July 1989 and still accounted for 30% of final demand at international level. However, performance in terms of market share is one thing. Prices are another and, since the agreement broke down, the gap between Robusta and Arabica has widened.
The price differential can be reduced if the consumer stops thinking of Robusta as poor quality, bottom-of-the-range coffee. But this, of course, means making an effort with quality from the start, with proper monitoring to do away with all-too-common practices like the virtually black market exports of coffee plant waste which roasters then incorporate into the Robusta coffee sold to institutions. Scientific research, however well-intentioned, can do little about this.
'Trading with South Africa: The policy options for the EC' - Sheila Page and Christopher Stevens, Overseas Development Institute, London, 1992. ISBN 0 85003 187 7, 78 pages, £20.
South Africa's largest export market is the EC, which takes 25% of the total, mainly in the form of primary and semi-processed goods (only 7% of South African trade is with the rest of Africa).
However, the EC takes a much larger share of the ACP countries' exports. This study of the various trading arrangements which the EC countries could offer South Africa as it moves towards majority rule takes as its starting point the view that South Africa, in economic and social terms, is not, as commonly perceived, a developed country but is comparable with a middle-income developing country.
If South Africa were classified as a developing country, it could gain certain aid and trade privileges. The report looks at a range of possible trading arrangements with the EC, most of which would involve such a reclassification. The authors consider the effects of preferential access to the EC market for various South African products, particularly the potential disruption to developing country or EC interests and areas of potential competition between South Africa and the ACP States.
The authors consider that South Africa, as a country attempting major economic restructuring and a movement to a more democratic regime, meets normal criteria as a suitable candidate for external assistance for long-term development and short-term adjustment. However, offering South Africa special trading arrangements could be damaging to some producers in the ACP, the EC and elsewhere; the report gives copious details of where and how this might happen. Joint production with industries in neighbouring Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland and Zimbabwe could well benefit South Africa at their expense.
Little would be gained from preferential trade regimes, the study concludes. Consideration should be given to other forms of external assistance in the sectors where South Africa's needs are greatest, and which would as far as possible assist its neighbours and other developing countries.
Jean de La Guvi - Voyage 'inteur de l'Eurocratie (Eurocracy - Journey into the Interior) - 'Actualitseries, Le Monde Editions, 15 rue Falgini, 75015, Paris - 197 pages - FF 98 - 1992.
The writer, born in 1937, went to Le Monde, the French daily, in 1970. He worked on the black Africa, Asia and Maghreb desks, was deputy head of the foreign service for five years and then came to Brussels in September 1990.
This is no doubt the secret of his thorough knowledge of the world of the Community, not just the official side of it all, but its day-to-day living - which he describes with some piquancy. All the institutions are pictured, sometimes with eloquent nicknames. The current 47-building Commission and its 17 Members, for example, are labelled: 'Prima donna and chorus'. The Council is the Community's 'high mass', with 47 services behind it, 'not all of them historic'. The importance of COREPER is highlighted, and rightly so while the role of lobbying is recognised. Finally, Parliament's constant shuffling back and forth of trunks full of paper, its '518 tender consciences' and even the bickering over its seat are wittily rendered. Mistakes have crept in, however, with, for example, promotion, which has always taken longer in the Commission than the Council and particularly the Parliament. But by and large, this is an up-to-date and well-researched piece of work which, although primarily intended for French audiences, will be useful to anyone with an interest in current affairs.
Claude Albagli - Economie du dlopement: typologie des anjeux (Development economies - the challenges classified) - Preface by Christian Labrousse - Librairie de la Cour de Cassation, 27 Place Dauphine, 75001, Paris - 349 pages - FF 150 - 1991
The first paragraph of the preface, a summary of the Third World and a]l its paths to development, says it all. According to Christian Labrousse, who is a professor of economics at Paris University (Pantheon Assas); 'As far as history is concerned, the 1990s will be the years when Marxism fell and Third World theories collapsed. Miracle development methods now appear as the Utopias they really are, often only pipe dreams at total variance with economic reality. Let us be clear about it. Raising the standard of living of the people of the Third World means increasing the wealth they produce and genuinely restricting demographic growth'.
But let it not be thought that perusal of the pertinent comments in the preface can be a substitute for reading the book itself, a didactic and comprehensive work which will be of interest to the economics student and to anyone who realises that the fate of those four billion people in the Third World, those 80% of the population of the globe living in its poor countries, is of crucial importance to the planet as a whole. Strikingly, two of the Third World countries, China and India, contain more than half its population, so, obviously, an efficient solution to their problems would cause a beneficial overturning of the economic data of the whole planet.
Albagli's book is in two main parts Part one, on a shattered Third World, is in six chapters, one each on China, India South East Asia, the Islamic countries Latin America and Black Africa. Part two, questions on the Third World, is divided into six issues which are crucial to development - population, subsistence, trade, energy, debt and power.
Courier readers will find Part I, Chapter VI, on Black Africa, particular interesting. This part of the world, the writer says, 'has indeed slipped out of the major economic changes of the past 30 years. The predictions of the 1960s suggested faster development for Africa and a sombre future for Asia. But the reverse has happened - failure, for which misguided strategy is very much to blame, with a moribund productive system bringing social decline in its wake. Between a traditional society with the cracks showing and a consumer society which they cannot attain, the frustration of half a billion Africans is mounting'.
Reasonably enough, much is made of population growth. Let us not forget that there were about 200 million people in sub-Saharan Africa in 1950, but the population numbers nearly 500 million today and is increasing by 15 million per year - the same figure as in China, whose total population is some 1.1 billion.
For sociological and religious reasons, these were very delicate issues to tackle 3 years ago when the demographic situation was far more suited to subsistence living. Indeed, they were not really tackled at all. But with the population expanding at the rate of 3.2% p.a., we realise just how fundamental they and other issues are today.
'The Development Dictionary, A Guide to Knowledge as Power' edited by Wolfgang Sachs. Zed Books Ltd., London and New Jersey, 1992.
'The idea of Development stands today like a ruin in the intellectual landscape. Its shadow obscures our vision.'
This provocative statement on the front cover page gives advance warning that the contents of this book are likely to make for uncomfortable reading - particularly for those who work in development, or have a commitment to the development concept. This is not a dictionary, but a series of highly intellectual discourses by different authors on 19 separate but related subjects (arranged alphabetically) beginning, fortuitously, with 'development' itself and ending with 'technology'.
The authors are like-minded academics who all believe that the 'age of development' is coming to an end and who expressly set out 'to disable the development professional by tearing apart the conceptual foundations of his routines'. Given that this is the starting point and not the conclusion of the book, the question arises as to whether the development professional, or any other potential reader, should be prepared to break his routine to read it?
The book is challenging in a number of ways. In the first instance, its unremitting hostility to development flows over into a generalised gloom about the current state of the world. Although the principal villain of the piece appears to be US President Harry Truman, who articulated the concept of 'underdevelopment' in 1949, all who have sought to make something of development implicitly stand condemned. It seems that we have got it all horribly wrong.
There are chinks of light of course - one author, in discussing 'reeds', believes that we are 'on the threshold of a still unnoticed transition from a political consciousness based on progress, growth and development ... to a new, yet unnamed consciousness defined by controls which ensure a 'sustainable system' of needs satisfaction' (Ivan Illich, page 99). Another sees hope in 'cosmopolitan localism' as an alternative to 'universalism' (Wolfgang Sachs, page 112). But the overall diagnosis is far from favourable. We are told, for example, that 'the very notion of help has become enfeebled and robbed of public confidence in its saving power' (Marianne Gronemeyer, page 53). The term 'equality' has 'taken on certain toxic meanings' (C. Douglas Lummis, page 38) while, 'from the unburied corpse of development, every kind of pest has started to spread' (Gustavo Esteva, page 6).
A second challenge lies in the language which the authors use. This varies from one contribution to another but it is frequently difficult to understand. Thus, for example, under the sub-heading 'Conscientizing from Without?', Majid Rahnema (page 125) says that 'praxis, or action and reflection, was advanced by the participatory movement as a means to precisely give those wider dimensions to participation. As such, Freirian methods of dialogical action and conscientization are perceived by the movement as a crucial instrument of interaction, aimed not only at liberating the oppressed, but eventually also the intervenor, from his own conditioning as a "bourgeois" thinker'. Is the message so complex that the language must be tested to destruction in this way?
In the final analysis, this book makes a number of very valid points about where we have gone wrong. The trouble is that in seeking to demolish almost every aspect of 20th century human development (and endeavour), the authors really do not offer any convincing alternatives. And in choosing to wrap their ideas in what is often impenetrable academic language, they effectively ensure that their message will only be read by a select few on the intellectual circuit.
EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT FUND
The Commission has taken decisions to finance the following schemes from the 5th, 6th and 7th EDFs.
- 8 October 1992
Kenya: Grant of ECU 3 500 000 (emergency aid) to help with humanitarian organisations' assistance programmes for Sudanese, Ethiopian and Somalian refugees, displaced persons and victims of drought and the ethnic conflict in Kenya.
- 22 October 1992
Solomon Islands: 7th EDF grant of ECU 1 750 000 for a human resources development programme (rural training centre).
Mauritius: 7th EDF grant of ECU 1 700 000 for fruit fly control.
Seychelles: 7th EDF grant of ECU 425 000 for environmental protection.
- 26 October 1992
Botswana: 7th EDF grant of ECU 1 000 000 for technical assistance to the Department of Hydraulics.
Mauritius: 7th grant of ECU 1 960 000 for the Rodrigues Natural and Agricultural Resource Management Project.
Niger: 7th EDF grant of ECU 1 100 000 to promote women's organisations and activities.
Togo: 7th EDF grant of ECU 1 200 000 for agro-forestry in Northern Togo.
- 27 October 1992
Burkina Faso: 7th EDF grant of ECU 15 000 000 for the RESO programme (development of water resources in the south west).
Cd'Ivoire: 7th EDF grant of ECU 11 200000 for support for the health sector.
Ethiopia: (Eritrea) 7th EDF grant of ECU 19 800 000 for a short term reconstruction + recovery aid programme for Eritrea.
Burundi: 7th EDF grant of ECU I 1 500 000 to improve access to the town of Kirundo.
Mozambique: 6th EDF grant of ECU 1 000 000 to redevelop the Port of Beira.
Mozambique: Grants of ECU 30 000 000 (SAF) and ECU 15 000 000 (NIP) from the 7th EDF and ECU 9 700000 (SIP) from the 6th EDF as support for the 1992 structural adjustment programme and for a general Import programme.
Sao Tome & Principe: 7th EDF grant of ECU I 500 000 (SAF) for a sectoral import programme to support structural adjustment.
Tuvalu: 7th EDF grant of ECU 900 000 for a fuel import programme.
Tuvalu: 6th EDF grant of ECU 1 020 000 to develop the power supply network.
Antigua & Barbuda 6th EDF grant of ECU 2 100 000 and a special loan of ECU 1 000000 to improve Antigua's roads phase II).
All ACPs: 7th EDF grant of ECU 7 200 000 as a general budget for projects to be run by the ACP Secretariat-General.
All ACPs: 7th EDF grant of ECU 6 650 000 for ACPs and ECU 950 000 for OCTs to finance under regional cooperation ACP and OCT contributions to trade and services development schemes.
Equatorial Guinea: 5th EDF grant of ECU 660 000, 6th EDF grant of ECU 400 000 and 7th EDF grant of ECU 540 000 to rehabilitate the M'Bin-Akalayong road.
Sudan: 7th EDF grant of ECU 3 000 000 emergency aid contributions to humanitarian organisations' schemes for victims of the drought and the fighting in Sudan.
- 12 November 1992
Burkina Faso 7th EDF grant of ECU 1 600 000 for studies on the periodic maintenance of asphalted roads.
Angola: ECU I 000 000 from the 7th EDF as emergency aid to be disbursed immediately to help victims of the conflict.
- 20 November 1992
Guinea Bissau: 5th EDF grant of ECU 4 200000, 6th EDF grant of ECU 3 600 000 and 7th EDF grant of ECU 4 200 000 for an infrastructure rehabilitation programme.
Benin: 7th EDF grant of ECU I 1 846 000 for a programme to support the Republic's health policy.
Madagascar: 6th EDF grant of ECU 2 250 000 for a programme to equip slaughterhouses in secondary towns.
All ACPs: 7th EDF grant of ECU 2 700 000 to inventory training opportunities in the ACP States.
Eastern Africa: 7th EDF grant of ECU 6 160000 (comprising ECU 5 160000 from the regional indicative programme for Eastern Africa and ECU I 000 000 from Kenya's national indicative programme) to develop and apply tsetse fly management technology.
Congo: 6th EDF grant of ECU 1 000 000 and 7th EDF grant of ECU 9 000 000 to support the private sector and promote SMEs.
- 26 November 1992
All ACPs: 7th EDF grant of ECU 30 000 000. This is a proposal for a global commitment authorisation to finance multi-annual microproject programmes through the expedited procedure.
- 8 December 1992
Somalia: 5th and 6th EDF grant of ECU 5 000 000 to help victims of civil war and drought.
- 17 December 1992
Caribbean region: (Cariforum - 15 Caribbean ACP States) 7th EDF grant of ECU I 900 000 for a programming unit.
- 18 December 1992
Cape Verde: 7th EDF grant of ECU 800 000 to improve urban management.
Swaziland: 7th EDF grant of ECU 320 000 for population and demography.
Angola & Mozambique: 7th EDF grant of ECU 950 000 for TRAINMAR (maritime and port training).
Angola: 7th EDF grant of ECU 2 000 000 for teaching material and equipment to back up professional training.
SADCC: 7th EDF grant of ECU 700 000 for a rural management training programme.
Uganda: 7th EDF grant of ECU 14500000 for a human resources development programme.
Tanzania: 7th EDF grant of ECU 25 000 000 (NIP) for a telecommunications project in the south.
Zambia: 7th EDF grant of ECU 10000000 for an export development programme.
Zambia: 7th EDF (Sysmin) grant of ECU 60 000000 for general imports (Sysmin III).
Zimbabwe: 7th EDF grant of ECU 28 000 000 (ECU 19 000 000 from the SAF and ECU 9 000 000 from the NIP) for a structural adjustment support programme.
Mozambique: 7th EDF grant of ECU 9 000 000 to support the electoral process.
Mozambique: 7th EDF grant of ECU 15390000 to support the rural health sector.
Mozambique: 7th EDF grant of ECU 10 000 000 to support the road and water supply rehabilitation programme.
Mozambique: 7th EDF grant of ECU 11 000000 for the reintegration of refugees and demobilised and displaced persons.
Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania, Cape Verde, Senegal, Gambia, Mali & Chad: 6th and 7th EDF grant of ECU 9 300 000 (comprising ECU 4 761 881,14 from the remainder of the 4th EDF switched to the 6th EDF and ECU 4 538 118,86 from the 7th EDF) to support a blindness control programme in the countries of the Sahel.
Chad: 7th EDF grant of ECU 15 000 000 for a programme to support improvements to road infrastructure and maintenance.
Benin, Burkina Faso, Cd'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, ®al, Sierra Leone & Togo: 5th EDF grant of ECU 7 000 000 for a programme to control onchocerciasis in West Africa.
Congo & the CAR: 6th EDF grant of ECU 10 000 000 to improve the common waterways maintenance service (SCEVN), phase 2.
Cameroon: 6th EDF grant of ECU 4 800 000 and 7th EDF grant of ECU 3 700 000 to support the health services.
Sao Tome & Principe: 7th EDF grant of ECU 3 900 000 for water supplies to the town of Sao Tome.
Gabon: ECU 6 500 000 (comprising 5th EDF loan of ECU 1 400000, 6th EDF loan of ECU 3 600000 and 6th EDF grant of ECU 1 500 000) for primary schools in Libreville.
Guinea: 7th EDF grant of ECU 50 000 000 for a road infrastructure programme.
Guinea: 7th EDF grant of ECU 15 000 000 for the Haute GuinOuest programme (PHGO).
Benin, Cd'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau & Togo: 7th EDF grant of ECU 12 100000 for a technical assistance programme for communication and information on environmental protection
Sierra Leone: 7th EDF grant of ECU 14 300 000 for a agricultural support programme.
Sierra Leone: 7th EDF grant of ECU 20 000000 (comprising 12000000 from the SAF and ECU 8 000 000 from the NIP) for a structural adjustment support programme.
All ACPs: Grant of ECU 3000000 from the 5th, 6th and 7th EDFs, the second global commitment authorisation from revenue accruing from EDF interest.
Dominica: 7th EDF grant (SAF) of ECU 2000000 for a structural adjustment support programme (general import programme).
Anguilla: 7th EDF grant of ECU 1 710 000 to improve the water supply.
Dominican Republic: 7th EDF grant of ECU 23 610 000 for the Linea Noroeste integrated rural development project (PROLINO)
New Caledonia: 5th EDF loan of ECU 2320000 and grant of ECU 300 000 (remainder of 3rd EDF switched to 5th EDF) to help set up young farmers.
Central African States: Grant of ECU 2600000 (ECU 600000 from the 6th EDF and ECU 2 000 000 from the 7th EDF) for the EEC-Central Africa industrial and business forum - FICAC (Cameroon 1993 and Gabon, 1995).
All ACPs: 6th EDF grant of ECU 990 000 and 7th EDF grant of ECU I 1 858 000 for the CDI's 1993 budget and 1993 supplementary extraordinary budget.
AU ACPs: 7th EDF grant of ECU 9 346 000 for the 1993 budget of the Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Cooperation.
EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK
The EIB has just made the following loans.
Netherlands Antilles: ECU 4 million to extend the power station on Bonaire.
Botswana: ECU 4 million to develop SMEs.
Ethiopia: ECU 6 million to repair the telecommunications network in the north.
Namibia: ECU 2.5 million to finance a modern tannery able to handle 960 rough hides per day.
Sierra Leone: ECU 15.5 million to repair a power station in Freetown.
Zambia: ECU 3 million to modernise the facilities in a pharmaceuticals plant which supplies the domestic market.
Zimbabwe: ECU 15 million to finance work to double the capacity of the main water purification plant in Harare and ECU 8 million to finance small and medium-sized industrial, agro-industrial, tourist and transport projects.
Community support for structural adjustment in the ACP States - lessons and prospects
The Commission agreed with the guidelines set out in Manuel Marin's communication on Community support for structural adjustment in the ACP States at its 1127th meeting on 11 November.
The paper gave a first rough quantitative and qualitative assessment of the Commission's role in the process and suggested a new way of allocating the structural adjustment support resources reflecting the countries' genuine needs and actual performance
Of the 40 or so countries potentially eligible for the Lomtructural adjustment support resources, 14 - Benin, Burkina Faso, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Papua-New Guinea, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe - fulfilled the conditions and were to be told that they would be getting a financial contribution so they could prepare a financing proposal immediately.
The Commission has just officially informed the Heads of State of these countries how much they can each expect from the Community to help with their structural adjustment over the period 1993-1994. The total amount is ECU 417,5 million and will be adjusted to reflect actual needs in 1994.
For the other countries, under the new system, the requisite amount of resources will be officially communicated to each of them as soon as conditions allow - i.e. (provided the countries continue with the process of reform) as soon as financing requirements stop being covered by the previous allocation and a new financing proposal is therefore called for.
Meeting of ACP Council of Ministers, 24-25 November
The 55th session of the ACP Council of Ministers was held in Brussels, under the chairmanship of Tuilaepa Sailele Mailelegaoi, Western Samoa's Finance Minister and President-in-Office of the ACP Council of Ministers
This end-of-year session, which is traditionally devoted to adopting the budget of the ACP General Secretariat and discussing internal organisation, was also an opportunity to debate the future of ACP-EEC cooperation, in the light of the Commission publication on prospects for the year 2000.
Views on the subject were exchanged between ACP Ministers and European Development Commissioner Manuel Marin.
The new Delors Commission
Members of the new Commission of the European Communities met in the Palais d'Egmont on 22 December to allocate their various duties. Jacques Delors was in the chair. The 17 Commissioners, who took up their posts on 6 January, are listed, together with their functions, below.
Mr Delors, President, (France): Secretariat general, Forward Studies Unit, Inspectorate-General, Legal Service, Monetary matters, Spokesman's Service, Joint Interpreting and Conference Service, Security Office.
Mr Christophersen (Denmark): Economic and financial affairs, Monetary matters (in agreement with Mr Delors), Credit and investments, Statistical Office.
Mr Marin (Spain): Cooperation and development - economic cooperation relations with the southern Mediterranean, Middle East, Near East, Latin America and Asia; Lomonvention; European Humanitarian Relief Office.
Mr Bangemann (Germany): Industrial affairs, Information technology and telecommunications.
Sir Leon Brittan (United Kingdom): External economic affairs (North America, Japan, China, CIS, Europe, including Central and Western Europe, Commercial policy.
Mr Matutes (Spain): Energy and Euratom Supply Agency, Transport.
Mr Schmidhuber (Germany): Budgets, Financial control, Fraud control, Cohesion Fund - coordination and management
Mrs Scrivener (France): Customs and indirect taxation, Direct taxation, Consumer policy.
Mr Millan (United Kingdom): Regional policies, Relations with the Committee of the Regions.
Mr Van Miert (Belgium): Competition policy, Personnel and administration, translation and information technology.
Mr Van Den Broek (Netherlands): External political relations, Common and foreign security policy, Enlargement negotiations (Task Force).
Mr Pinheiro (Portugal): Relations with the European Parliament, Relations with the Member States (transparency, communication and information), Audiovisual and cultural affairs, Office for Official Publications.
Mr Flynn (Ireland): Social affairs and employment, Relations with the Economic and Social Committee, Questions on immigration and internal and legal affairs.
Mr Ruberti (Italy): Science, research and development, Common Research Centre, Human resources, education, training and youth.
Mr Steichen (Luxembourg): Agriculture and rural development.
Mr Paleokrassas (Greece): Environment, nuclear safety and civil protection, Fisheries policy.
Mr Vanni d'Archirafi (Italy): Institutional matters, Internal market, Financial services, Company policy - small and medium-sized enterprises, trade and craft.
EUROPEAN POLITICAL COOPERATION
3 November: Statement on Togo
The Community and its member States have been monitoring recent events in Togo closely. After a period of heightened political violence, they welcomed the extension of the transition period and the reduction in tension that this brought, in the hope that this would lead to more and more rapid progress towards democracy. They are concerned by the further postponement of elections and therefore urge all those involved to work together to overcome the remaining problems.
The Community and its Member States are deeply concerned by the recent sedge of Parliament by the Togo]ese armed forces. Such action by the military constitutes a serious threat to Togo's return to constitutional rule. While they are aware of President Eyadema's condemnation of the soldiers' actions and of the the setting up of an Investigation Commission, they are concerned that the President, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, has not been able to ensure the political neutrality of his soldiers. The Community and its Member States hope the Investigation Commission will act swiftly and that President Eyadema and the Government will take appropriate disciplinary measures against those soldiers identified as responsible. Any repetition of such action by the Armed Forces would be deplorable.
The Community and its Member States again stress the need for all parties involved to facilitate the successful conclusion of Togo's return to constitutional rule. This must involve full respect for human rights and the rule of law which are necessary conditions for the continuation of their economic and development cooperation with Togo.
4 November: Statement on Angola
The Community and its Member States, recalling their statement of 22 October, express their grave concern about recent events in Angola and deplore the violence over the weekend of 31 October and I November which claimed so many lives. The Community and its Member States support the continued involvement of the United Nations in the peace process in Angola, and call on all parties to abide by SCR 785 adopted by the UN Security Council on 30 October and to respect the ceasefire negotiated through the good offices of the UN Secretary General on the night of I November. The only hope for peace in Angola is for both sides to refrain from violence and to continue to implement the peace agreements embodied in the Bicesse Accords, in particular as regards the demobilisation and confinement of their troops and collection of their weapons; the formation of the unified national armed force, and the creation of conditions allowing the holding of a second ballot in the Presidential election.
The Community and its Member States will hold responsible any party which obstructs the peace process, to which all parties have committed themselves and which has been democratically endorsed by the Angolan people.
4 November: Statement on Cameroon
The Community and its Member States welcome the holding of multiparty elections in Cameroon on 11 October as an important step in the process of democratisation. They have however noted with concern reports of irregularities in the election procedures in all regions. The Community and its Member States appeal to all the parties involved to seek to resolve differences through dialogue, avoiding any violence and safeguarding social peace. They call on all parties to refrain from action which could further increase tension, and on the authorities to ensure full support for fundamental human rights and political freedoms. The Community and its Member States will continue to follow developments in Cameroon with close attention.
17 November: Statement on Ghana
The European Community and its Member States welcome the declaration of the international electoral observer teams that the Presidential election was broadly free and fair. The election represents a major step towards the restoration of democratic government in Ghana. They also welcome the fact that election campaigning and the elections themselves were generally free from political violence. They urge all political parties to work together to ensure completion of a peaceful transition to constitutional democratic government.
30 November: Statement on South Africa
The Community and its Member States are encouraged by the intensified efforts of the parties in South Africa to give renewed momentum to negotiations designed to secure South Africa's peaceful transition. They hope that all parties will continue to play full part in the endeavours to resume multi-party constitutional talks at the earliest opportunity.
The Community and its Member States also hope that the National Peace
Committee will be given every support in its efforts to promote dialogue amongst the parties on the urgent need for effective action to curb violence in South Africa.
4 December: Statement on Zaire
The Community and its Member States have noted with grave disquiet the Presidential decrees communicated on 1 December concerning the unilateral dismissal of the transitional government.
The Community and its Member States reiterate their support for the Prime Minister elected by the Sovereign National Conference and the government which emerged from the Sovereign National Conference. The Community and its member States attach the utmost importance to the completion of the democratic process centred on the Sovereign National Conference. They condemn any initiative or act of violence which in any way impedes the non-conflictual development of this process.
7 December: Statement on Somalia
The humanitarian crisis in Somalia continues to cause the gravest concern. The increasing looting of aid supplies and obstruction to their distribution cannot be accepted.
The Community and its Member States fully support the adoption on 3 December of UNSCR 794, which constitutes an important development in international law, since it authorises the UN Secretary Geneal and Member States to cooperate to provide for a multinational force to establish a secure environment for the delivery of emergency and relief supplies. They welcome the humanitarian efforts made by the Community and its Member States and the contributions of a number of Member States to the force as a European initiative. The swift deployment of the force is vital to the success of the efforts of NGOs and international agencies to bring food to the starving in conditions of security. They attach particular importance to ensuring the safety of the personnel involved in the relief effort.
The Community and its Member States reaffirm their full support for existing UN operations and the efforts by Ambassador Kittani. They hope that the implementation of UNSCR 794 will encourage national reconciliation that will lead to a lasting political settlement.