Seychelles delegation attends 62nd session of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly and the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly intersessional meetings |27 March 2023
Delegates from the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) gathered in Brussels recently for the 62nd Session of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly and the ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly meetings.
Seychelles was represented by Hon. Clifford Andre, the head of delegation, Hon. Churchill Gill, and assisted by parliamentary researcher Shannon Surman.
Beginning with a special session of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly on Friday February, 25, the delegates from ACP member states participated in an exchange of views on the new post-Cotonou Agreement. Hon. Andre’s intervention highlighted the importance of the representation of small island developing states in the ACP-EU, in the context of the different regions. Considering the differing perspectives shared by many delegates, there was a notable lack of consensus regarding the new agreement due to be signed later this year.
The Committee on Economic Development, Finance, and Trade, of which Seychelles is a member, held its meeting on Monday February 27. The Committee, chaired by Hon. Sibeso Sefulo Kambafwile of the National Assembly of Zambia, considered a total of 71 amendments on the draft motion on the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes and the list of third-world countries regarding anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT). Significant topics were also discussed with a focus on the new EU trade regulations such as the deforestation regulation and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and the impacts they will have on ACP countries.
The 62nd session of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly was held on Tuesday October 28. Statements were delivered by the President of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly, Hon. Ana Rita Sithole and by the Secretary General of the OACPS, Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti. Hon. Sithole presented her four priority areas for her two-year mandate which included improved visibility of the OACPS PA and ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA); a strengthening of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly; increased engagement with key strategic assemblies; and financial stability of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly.
The delegates were given the opportunity to express their views on the statements at various points during the session.
On Wednesday March 1, the delegates attended a special meeting on the ‘Draft Rules of Procedure’. The delegates expressed their views on numerous points of contention in the draft procedures, seeking clarifications, and proposing changes.
The ACP-EU JPA Committee on Economic Development, Finance and Trade held its meeting on Thursday March 2. The ACP countries, along with representatives of the EU, discussed pertinent matters focused on ‘Sustainability Vis a Vis Trade Regimes’. The ACP delegates expressed their concerns of the new EU trade regulations and the potential impacts on their own economies. The Session of Votes on Committee Reports was held on the same afternoon at the European Parliament, where Hon. Andre and the other delegates of the ACP-EU JPA Committee on Economic Development, Finance, and Trade voted on the amendments in the draft report. This session marked the last of the series of meetings and sessions attended by the Seychelles delegation.
Press release from the National Assembly secretariat