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For Immediate Release
June 20, 2005
EU-US Declaration on Working Together to Promote Peace, Stability, Prosperity, and Good Governance in Africa
We remain committed to combining and accelerating our efforts in support of Africa and its leadership, while acknowledging its ownership of present and future African development.
We share the same belief that solidarity is an essential principle that should guide our action and that we, together with all other members of the international community, have an obligation to assist African efforts in the quest for peace, stability, democracy and prosperity. We share the same objectives with poverty eradication as the primary aim of our relations with the developing world and we therefore undertake to increase our efforts to assist Sub Saharan Africa in its efforts to achieve sustainable economic growth and reach the internationally agreed goals contained in the Millennium Declarations.
We share the same hope built on the realisation that today there is an environment and leadership in much of Africa with a genuine commitment to better governance and a new resolve to take care of Africa's own conflicts.
We are working to support Africa's efforts to expand peace and security across the continent. In this context, we welcome that an increasing number of African nations are committing themselves to holding democratic elections, thereby paving the way for more representative government. Improving respect for human rights and governance, consolidating democratic processes and reforming the security sector are central prerequisites for development. African nations are undertaking increased efforts to resolve conflicts and have achieved important progress in establishing their own security structures through the African Union and its Peace and Security Council as well as at the sub-regional level.
Together we have been working to strengthen the African Union and other regional organisations that aim to improve stability in Africa and we are collaborating on the G8/African Union action plan to enhance capacity for peace support operations. We are committed to continue to assist African peace support operations as the EU has done through its African Peace Facility and contributions from its Member States and the US through the Global Peacekeeping Operations Initiative by increased contributions to enhance the Peace Support Operations capacity and support for ongoing operations in Africa.
The African Union/NEPAD have provided Africa with an ambitious vision and strategy for the 21st century. We will work closely with the African Union as a key political interlocutor in our relations with Africa.
The African Union and the sub-regional organisations have decisively assumed responsibility and leadership for resolving many of the armed conflicts that for so long have marred the continent. We are prepared to contribute to these efforts through:
Supporting broad and inclusive processes of implementing the comprehensive peace agreement in Sudan, capable of reconciling and accommodating the aspirations of all sectors of society and all regions of the country, while ensuring that the fight against impunity from violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law is sustained. To end the continuing violence and suffering of hundred of thousands in Darfur is an immediate priority. We reaffirm our strong support for the AU leadership in resolving the crisis and urge the parties to commit themselves wholeheartedly to resolve the conflict peacefully and engage constructively in the AU-sponsored negotiations in Abuja.
Reaffirming our continued support to the Somalia reconciliation process and assisting the Somali people and institutions, in their efforts to re-establish stability and governance. We are also committed to support efforts to resolve the border stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea. Both processes have much to contribute towards stability, development and security in the strategic region of the Horn of Africa.
Combining support for stability in the Great Lakes region, including through the disarmament of armed groups, Security Sector Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo, assistance in the organisation of the coming democratic elections in Burundi and the DRC and international observation thereof, and participation aimed at a successful outcome of the International Conference on the Great Lakes region. We have instructed the Joint Contact Group to continue to work together in order to address the problems in the region.
Continuing to support a regional approach to peace and security in West Africa, with a view to enhancing conflict management in ECOWAS and particularly by supporting United Nations and African efforts to consolidate transition processes in C te d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau and encouraging national reconciliation in Togo.
Effective and well-governed states are critical to a peaceful and secure environment and protecting human rights; encouraging transparent and accountable public management and private sector growth delivering essential services and allowing resources to be used effectively. We will support the African Peer Review Mechanism as an important tool for peer learning and reforms it will trigger at the country level.
The U.S. and the EU note with deep concern the continuing governance and human rights crisis in Zimbabwe, which has led to a near breakdown of the economic situation of one of the most promising economies in Africa and caused huge flows of Zimbabweans to flee to neighbouring countries. We call upon the Government of Zimbabwe to reverse anti-democratic policies and to open a genuine dialogue with all stakeholders. We also note that serious food shortages are looming in Zimbabwe, and we stand ready, as in the past, to assist the Zimbabwean people with food aid and other humanitarian assistance.
Life expectancy is increasing in every continent except Africa, where it has fallen for the last 20 years. HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis continue to affect too many people in Africa. We are committed to continue our support for the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria. We recognise the importance of education and gender equality for life expectancy and agree to intensify efforts in this regard.
We commit to work together to address both the immediate needs and the underlying causes of natural disasters and complex emergencies which plague the continent, including through collaboration on the assessment process, to ensure that needs are identified in an accurate and timely fashion, that assistance is appropriately targeted and arrives in time to save lives. Together, we commit to urgently increasing both our funding and engagement in these humanitarian emergencies.
To ensure a longer-term solution to the problem of famine and poverty in Africa, we will work with AU/NEPAD to support implementation of its Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Plan, which will help expand production and market opportunities, enhance agricultural productivity, and thus reduce the risk facing Africa's poorest farmers. We further commit to support AU/NEPAD's efforts to increase regional economic integration in Africa as an important element of efforts to increase agricultural productivity, open our market to allow African exports to enter duty free until 2015 and, in this regard, will undertake efforts to promote accession of African countries to the WTO.
These commitments require resources. These should come from many sources, as set out at Monterrey, including increased foreign direct investment, trade, remittances, public aid and private charitable contributions. We recall the responsibility of developing countries for their own development through good governance, the rule of law, and sound policies, and the crucial importance of national ownership for development strategies. We stand ready to increase our financial assistance to Sub-Saharan Africa to meet urgent needs, promote development and economic growth, reinforce sound policies and good governance and support their efforts towards meeting the Millennium Goals.
In today's globalised world, developments in one continent often have immediate and far-reaching repercussions on life in other continents. Peace, stability and better economic prospects for all people in Africa are therefore in the interest of Americans and Europeans alike. The long road towards sustainable social, political, and economic development in Africa is a road that Africa should not be left to walk alone.