Cotonou 2000 ACP-EU Agreement

Sectors : Employment and Training, Environmental degradation and natural resource management, Investment, Political governance, Agricultural investment and production, Financial Institutions, markets, services and microfinance, ICT, Industry, Infrastructure General, Peace-building and peacekeeping, Quality of aid, Debt relief, Labour migration, International trade: market access, subsidies and aid for trade, Regional cooperation and integration, Regional trade, Institutional development, Economic governance and public finance management, Human Rights, Transport, Sustainable development, Food security, Humanitarian assistance, Gender and economic opportunity, Gender and political agency, Gender and social development, Health systems, medicines and regulation, HIV/AIDS, Primary and basic education, Water and Sanitation
Date made: 
Heads Of State


Commitments in: Private Sector development and financial services for the poor - Employment and Training


The Approach

The objectives of ACP-EC development cooperation shall be pursued through integrated strategies that incorporate economic, social, cultural, environmental and institutional elements that must be locally owned. Cooperation shall thus provide a coherent enabling framework of support to the ACP’s own development strategies, ensuring complementarity and interaction between the various elements. In this context and within the framework of development policies and reforms pursued by the ACP States, ACP-EC cooperation strategies shall aim at:

(a) achieving rapid and sustained job-creating economic growth, developing the private sector, increasing employment, improving access to productive economic activities and resource, and fostering regional cooperation and integration;
(b) promoting human and social development helping to ensure that the fruits of growth are widely and equitably shared and promoting gender equality;
(c) promoting cultural values of communities and specific interactions with economic, political and social elements;
(d) promoting institutional reforms and development, strengthening the institutions necessary for the consolidation of democracy, good governance and for efficient and competitive market economies; and building capacity for development and partnership; and
(e) promoting environmental sustainability, regeneration and best practices, and the preservation of natural resource base.”



Economic sector development

Cooperation shall support sustainable policy and institutional reforms and the investments necessary for equitable access to economic activities and productive resources, particularly:

(a) the development of training systems that help increase productivity in both the formal and the informal sectors;
(b) capital, credit, land, especially as regards property rights and use;
(c) development of rural strategies aimed at establishing a framework for participatory decentralised planning, resource allocation and management;
(d) agricultural production strategies, national and regional food security policies, sustainable development of water resources and fisheries as well as marine resources within the economic exclusive zones of the ACP States. Any fishery agreement that may be negotiated between the Community and the ACP States shall pay due consideration to consistency with the development strategies in this area;
(e) economic and technological infrastructure and services, including transport, telecommunication systems, communication services and the development of information society;
(f) development of competitive industrial, mining and energy sectors, while encouraging private sector involvement and development;
(g) trade development, including the promotion of fair trade;
(h) development of business, finance and banking; and other service sectors;
(i) tourism development; and
(j) development of scientific, technological and research infrastructure and services; including the enhancement, transfer and absorption of new technologies;
(k) the strengthening of capacities in productive areas, especially in public and private sectors.”



Youth issues

Cooperation shall also support the establishment of a coherent and comprehensive policy for realising the potential of youth so that they are better integrated into society to achieve their full potential. In this context, cooperation shall support policies, measures and operations aimed at:

(a) protecting the rights of children and youth, especially those of girl children;
(b) promoting the skills, energy, innovation and potential of youth in order to enhance their economic, social and cultural opportunities and enlarge their employment opportunities in the productive sector;
(c) helping community-based institutions to give children the opportunity to develop their physical, psychological, social and economic potential; and
(d) reintegrating into society children in post-conflict situations through rehabilitation programmes.”


Commitments in: Financing for Development - Quality of aid



1. Development finance cooperation shall be implemented on the basis of and be consistent with the development objectives, strategies and priorities established by the ACP States, at both national and regional levels. Their respective geographical, social and cultural characteristics, as well as their specific potential, shall be taken into account. In addition, cooperation shall:

(a) promote local ownership at all levels of the development process;
(b) reflect a partnership based on mutual rights and obligations;
(c) emphasise the importance of predictability and security in resource flows, granted on highly concessional terms and on a continuous basis;
(d) be flexible and appropriate to the situation in each ACP State as well as adapted to the specific nature of the project or programme concerned; and
(e) ensure efficiency, coordination and consistency.

2. Cooperation shall ensure special treatment for LDC ACP countries and duly take into account the vulnerability of landlocked and island ACP countries. In addition, the specific needs of post-conflict countries shall also be addressed...

...5. The Community shall be responsible for taking financing decisions on projects and programmes.”


Commitments in: Financing for Development - Debt relief




Support for debt relief

1. In order to attenuate the debt burden of the ACP States and their balance-of-payment problems, the Parties agree to use the resources provided for in this Agreement to contribute to debt relief initiatives approved at international level for the benefit of ACP countries. In addition, on a case by case basis, the use of resources which have not been committed in the framework of past indicative programmes shall be accelerated through the quick-disbursing instruments provided for in this Agreement. The Community furthermore commits itself to examine how in the longer term other resources than the EDF can be mobilised in support of internationally agreed debt relief initiatives.”

2. At the request of an ACP State, the Community may grant:

(a) assistance in studying and finding practical solutions to indebtedness including domestic debt, debt-servicing difficulties and balance of payments problems;
(b) training in debt management and international financial negotiations as well as support for training workshops, courses and seminars in these fields; and
(c) assistance to develop flexible techniques and instruments of debt management.”


Commitments in: Migration - Labour migration



1. The issue of migration shall be the subject of in-depth dialogue in the framework of the ACPEU Partnership.

The Parties reaffirm their existing obligations and commitments in international law to ensure respect for human rights and to eliminate all forms of discrimination based particularly on origin, sex, race, language and religion...

...4. The Community shall support, through national and regional Cooperation programmes, the training of ACP nationals in their country of origin, in another ACP country or in a Member State of the European Union. As regards training in a Member State, the Parties shall ensure that such action is geared towards the vocational integration of ACP nationals in their countries of origin.

The Parties shall develop cooperation programmes to facilitate the access of students from ACP States to education, in particular through the use of new communication technologies.

5(a) In the framework of the political dialogue the Council of Ministers shall examine issues arising from illegal immigration with a view to establishing, where appropriate, the means for a prevention policy.
(b) In this context the Parties agree in particular to ensure that the rights and dignity of individuals are respected in any procedure initiated to return illegal immigrants to their countries of origin. In this connection the authorities concerned shall extend to them the administrative facilities necessary for their return.
(c) The Parties further agree that:
(i) each Member State of the European Union shall accept the return of and readmission of any of its nationals who are illegally present on the territory of an ACP State, at that State’s request and without further formalities...”

Heads of State

Commitments in: Development partnerships - Regional cooperation and integration




General approach

Cooperation shall provide effective assistance to achieve the objectives and priorities which the ACP States have set themselves in the context of regional and sub-regional cooperation and integration, including inter-regional and intra-ACP cooperation. Regional Cooperation can also involve Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) and outermost regions. In this context, cooperation support shall aim to:

(a) foster the gradual integration of the ACP States into the world economy;
(b) accelerate economic cooperation and development both within and between the regions of the ACP States;
(c) promote the free movement of persons, goods, services, capital, labour and technology among ACP countries;
(d) accelerate diversification of the economies of the ACP States; and coordination and harmonisation of regional and sub-regional cooperation policies; and
(e) promote and expand inter and intra-ACP trade and with third countries.


Regional economic integration

Cooperation shall, in the area of regional economic integration, support:

(a) developing and strengthening the capacities of:
(i) regional integration institutions and organisations set up by the ACP States to promote regional cooperation and integration, and
(ii) national governments and parliaments in matters of regional integration;
(b) fostering participation of Least Developed Countries (LDC) ACP States in the establishment of regional markets and sharing the benefits therefrom;
(c) implementation of sectoral reform policies at regional level;
(d) liberalisation of trade and payments;
(e) promoting cross-border investments both foreign and domestic, and other regional or sub-regional economic integration initiatives; and
(f) taking account of the effects of net transitional costs of regional integration on budget revenue and balance of payments.


Regional Cooperation

1. Cooperation shall, in the area of regional cooperation, support a wide variety of functional and thematic fields which specifically address common problems and take advantage of scale of economies, including:

(a) infrastructure particularly transport and communications and safety thereof and services, including the development of regional opportunities in the area of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT);
(b) the environment; water resource management and energy;
(c) health, education and training;
(d) research and technological development;
(e) regional initiatives for disaster preparedness and mitigation; and
(f) other areas, including arms control, action against drugs, organised crimes, money laundering, bribery and corruption.

2. Cooperation shall also support inter and intra-ACP cooperation schemes and initiatives...”


Commitments in: Peace and security - Peace-building and peacekeeping

Political dialogue

3. The dialogue shall cover all the aims and objectives laid down in this Agreement as well as all questions of common, general, regional or sub-regional interest. Through dialogue, the Parties shall contribute to peace, security and stability and promote a stable and democratic political environment. It shall encompass cooperation strategies as well as global and sectoral policies, including environment, gender, migration and questions related to the cultural heritage...

...5. ...Broadly based policies to promote peace and to prevent, manage and resolve violent conflicts shall play a prominent role in this dialogue, as shall the need to take full account of the objective of peace and democratic stability in the definition of priority areas of cooperation.”



Peace-building policies, conflict prevention and resolution

1. The Parties shall pursue an active, comprehensive and integrated policy of peace-building and conflict prevention and resolution within the framework of the Partnership. This policy shall be based on the principle of ownership. It shall in particular focus on building regional, sub-regional and national capacities, and on preventing violent conflicts at an early stage by addressing their root-causes in a targeted manner, and with an adequate combination of all available instruments...

...4. In situations of violent conflict the Parties shall take all suitable action to prevent an intensification of violence, to limit its territorial spread, and to facilitate a peaceful settlement of the existing disputes. Particular attention shall be paid to ensuring that financial resources for cooperation are used in accordance with the principles and objectives of the Partnership, and to preventing a diversion of funds for belligerent purposes.

5. In post-conflict situations, the Parties shall take all suitable action to facilitate the return to a non-violent, stable and self-sustainable situation. The Parties shall ensure the creation of the necessary links between emergency measures, rehabilitation and development cooperation.”


Commitments in: Governance - Institutional development


Macroeconomic and structural reforms and policies

1. Cooperation shall support ACP efforts to implement:

(a) macroeconomic growth and stabilisation through disciplined fiscal and monetary policies that result in the reduction of inflation, and improve external and fiscal balances, by strengthening fiscal discipline, enhancing budgetary transparency and efficiency, improving the quality, the equity and composition of fiscal policy; and
(b) structural policies designed to reinforce the role of the different actors, especially the private sector and improve the environment for increases in business, investment and employment, as well as:
(i) liberalise trade and foreign exchange regimes and current account convertibility, having regard to the particular circumstances of each country;
(ii) strengthen labour and product-market reforms;
(iii) encourage financial systems reforms which help to develop viable banking and nonbanking systems, capital markets and financial services, including micro-finance;
(iv) improve the quality of private and public services; and
(v) encourage regional cooperation and progressive integration of macroeconomic and monetary policies...”



Institutional development and capacity building

1.Cooperation shall pay systematic attention to institutional aspects and in this context, shall support the efforts of the ACP States to develop and strengthen structures, institutions and procedures...

2. The Parties shall work together in the fight against bribery and corruption in all their societies.

3. Cooperation shall support ACP States’ efforts to develop their public institutions into a positive force for growth and development and to achieve major improvements in the efficiency of government services as they affect the lives of ordinary people. In this context, cooperation shall assist the reform, rationalisation and the modernisation of the public sector. Specifically, cooperation support shall focus on:

(a) the reform and modernisation of the civil service;
(b) legal and judicial reforms and modernisation of justice systems;
(c) improvement and strengthening of public finance management;
(d) accelerating reforms of the banking and financial sector;
(e) improvement of the management of public assets and reform of public procurement procedures; and
(f) political, administrative, economic and financial decentralisation.

4. Cooperation shall also assist to restore and/or enhance critical public sector capacity and to support institutions needed to underpin a market economy, especially support for:

(a) developing legal and regulatory capabilities needed to cope with the operation of a market economy, including competition policy and consumer policy;
(b) improving capacity to analyse, plan, formulate and implement policies, in particular in the economic, social, environmental, research, science and technology and innovation fields;
(c) modernising, strengthening and reforming financial and monetary institutions and improving procedures;
(d) building the capacity at the local and municipal levels which is required to implement decentralisation policy and to increase the participation of the population in the development process; and
(e) developing capacity in other critical areas such as:
(i) international negotiations; and
(ii) management and coordination of external aid.”


Commitments in: Governance - Human Rights


Essential Elements and Fundamental Element

1. Cooperation shall be directed towards sustainable development centred on the human person, who is the main protagonist and beneficiary of development; this entails respect for and promotion of all human rights...

...2. The Parties refer to their international obligations and commitments concerning respect for human rights. They reiterate their deep attachment to human dignity and human rights, which are legitimate aspirations of individuals and peoples. Human rights are universal, indivisible and inter-related. The Parties undertake to promote and protect all fundamental freedoms and human rights, be they civil and political, or economic, social and cultural. In this context, the Parties reaffirm the equality of men and women.

The Parties reaffirm that democratisation, development and the protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights are interrelated and mutually reinforcing. Democratic principles are universally recognised principles underpinning the organisation of the State to ensure the legitimacy of its authority, the legality of its actions reflected in its constitutional, legislative and regulatory system, and the existence of participatory mechanisms. On the basis of universally recognised principles, each country develops its democratic culture...

...4. The Partnership shall actively support the promotion of human rights, processes of democratisation, consolidation of the rule of law, and good governance...

..These areas will also be a focus of support for development strategies. The Community shall provide support for political, institutional and legal reforms and for building the capacity of public and private actors and civil society in the framework of strategies agreed jointly between the State concerned and the Community.”


Commitments in: Private Sector development and financial services for the poor - Industry



Cooperation will aim at the sustainable development of the tourism industry in ACP countries and sub-regions, recognising its increasing importance to the growth of the services sector in ACP countries and to the expansion of their global trade, its ability to stimulate other sectors of economic activity, and the role it can play in poverty eradication...”


Commitments in: Private Sector development and financial services for the poor - Investment

Investment and private sector development

1. Cooperation shall support the necessary economic and institutional reforms and policies at national and/or regional level, aiming at creating a favourable environment for private investment, and the development of a dynamic, viable and competitive private sector. Cooperation shall further support:

(a) the promotion of public-private sector dialogue and cooperation;
(b) the development of entrepreneurial skills and business culture;
(c) privatisation and enterprise reform; and
(d) development and modernisation of mediation and arbitration systems.

2. Cooperation shall also support improving the quality, availability and accessibility of financial and non-financial services to private enterprises, both formal and informal; by:

(a) catalysing and leveraging flows of private savings, both domestic and foreign, into the financing of private enterprises by supporting policies for developing a modern financial sector including a capital market, financial institutions and sustainable microfinance operations;
(b) the development and strengthening of business institutions and intermediary organisations, associations, chambers of commerce and local providers from the private sector supporting and providing non-financial services to enterprises such as professional, technical, management, training and commercial support services; and
(c) supporting institutions, programmes, activities and initiatives that contribute to the development and transfer of technologies and know-how and best practices on all aspects of business management.

3. Cooperation shall promote business development through the provision of finance, guarantee facilities and technical support aimed at encouraging and supporting the creation, establishment, expansion, diversification, rehabilitation, restructuring, modernisation or privatisation of dynamic, viable and competitive enterprises in all economic sectors as well as financial intermediaries such as development finance and venture capital institutions, and leasing companies by:

(a) creating and/or strengthening financial instruments in the form of investment capital;
(b) improving access to essential inputs such as business information and advisory, consultancy or technical assistance services;
(c) enhancement of export activities, in particular through capacity building in all trade-related areas; and
(d) encouraging inter-firm linkages, networks and cooperation including those involving the transfer of technology and know-how at national, regional and ACP-EU levels, and partnerships with private foreign investors which are consistent with the objectives and guidelines of ACP-EC Development cooperation.

4. Cooperation shall support microenterprise development through better access to financial and non-financial services; an appropriate policy and regulatory framework for their development; and provide training and information services on best practices in microfinance.

5. Support for investment and private sector development shall integrate actions and initiatives at macro, meso and micro economic levels.”



Investment finance and support

1. Cooperation shall provide long-term financial resources, including risk capital, to assist in promoting growth in the private sector and help to mobilise domestic and foreign capital for this purpose. To this end, cooperation shall provide, in particular:

(a) grants for financial and technical assistance to support policy reforms, human resource development, institutional capacity-building or other forms of institutional support related to a specific investment, measures to increase the competitiveness of enterprises and to strengthen the capacities of the private financial and non-financial intermediaries, investment facilitation and promotion and competitiveness enhancement activities;
(b) advisory and consultative services to assist in creating a responsive investment climate and information base to guide and encourage the flow of capital;
(c) risk-capital for equity or quasi-equity investments, guarantees in support of domestic and foreign private investment and loans or lines of credit on the conditions laid down in Annex II "Terms and Conditions of Financing" to this Agreement; and
(d) loans from the Bank’s own resources.”


Commitments in: Infrastructure - ICT


Information and Communication Technologies, and Information Society...

...2. They therefore reconfirm their respective commitments under existing multilateral agreements, in particular the protocol on Basic Telecommunications attached to the GATS, and invite those ACP countries, which are not yet members of these agreements, to accede to them...

...4. The Parties will therefore take measures that will enable inhabitants of ACP countries easy access to information and communication technologies, through, amongst other, the following measures:

– the development and encouragement of the use of affordable renewable energy resources;

– the development and deployment of more extensive low-cost wireless networks.”


Commitments in: Infrastructure - Transport

“...ARTICLE 42

Maritime Transport

4. The Community shall support the ACP States’ efforts to develop and promote cost-effective and efficient maritime transport services in the ACP States with a view to increasing the participation of ACP operators in international shipping services.”


Commitments in: Trade - International trade: market access, subsidies and aid for trade





1.In view of the objectives and principles set out above, the Parties agree to conclude new World Trade Organisation (WTO) compatible trading arrangements, removing progressively barriers to trade between them and enhancing cooperation in all areas relevant to trade...




General Provisions

2. They reaffirm their respective commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), and underline the need for special and differential treatment to ACP suppliers of services;

5. The Community shall support the ACP States’ efforts to strengthen their capacity in the supply of services. Particular attention shall be paid to services related to labour, business, distribution, finance, tourism, culture and construction and related engineering services with a view to enhancing their competitiveness and thereby increasing the value and the volume of their trade in goods and services.”



General Provisions

1. The Parties acknowledge the growing importance of new areas related to trade in facilitating progressive integration of the ACP States into the world economy. They therefore agree to strengthen their cooperation in these areas by establishing full and coordinated participation in the relevant international fora and agreements.

2. The Community shall support the ACP States’ efforts, in accordance with the provisions set out in this Agreement and the development strategies agreed between the Parties to strengthen their capacity to handle all areas related to trade, including, where necessary, improving and supporting the institutional framework...


Standardisation and Certification

1. The Parties agree to cooperate more closely in the field of standardisation, certification and quality assurance to remove unnecessary technical barriers and to reduce differences between them in those areas, so as to facilitate trade. In this context, they reaffirm their commitment under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to trade, annexed to the WTO Agreement (TBT Agreement)...


Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

1. The Parties recognise the right of each Party to adopt or to enforce sanitary and phytosanitary measures necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health, subject to the requirement that these measures do not constitute a means of arbitrary discrimination or a disguised restriction to trade, generally. To this end, they reaffirm their commitments under the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, annexed to the WTO Agreement (SPS-Agreement), taking account of their respective level of development...

2. They further undertake to reinforce coordination, consultation and information as regards notification and application of proposed sanitary and phytosanitary measures, in accordance with the SPS-Agreement whenever these measures might affect the interests of either Party. They also agree on prior consultation and coordination within the CODEX ALIMENTARIUS, the International Office of Epizootics and the International Plant Protection Convention, with a view to furthering their common interests.

3. The Parties agree to strengthen their cooperation with a view to reinforcing the capacity of the public and the private sector of the ACP countries in this field.”



Trade and Environment

1. The Parties reaffirm their commitment to promoting the development of international trade in such a way as to ensure sustainable and sound management of the environment, in accordance with the international conventions and undertakings in this area and with due regard to their respective level of development. They agree that the special needs and requirements of ACP States should be taken into account in the design and implementation of environment measures...”



Trade and Labour Standards

1. The Parties reaffirm their commitment to the internationally recognised core labour standards, as defined by the relevant International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions, and in particular the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, the abolition of forced labour, the elimination of worst forms of child labour and non-discrimination in respect to employment.

2. They agree to enhance cooperation in this area, in particular in the following fields:
– exchange of information on the respective legislation and work regulation;
– the formulation of national labour legislation and strengthening of existing legislation;
– educational and awareness-raising programmes;
– enforcement of adherence to national legislation and work regulation...”


Commitments in: Agriculture - Food security

Food security

1. With regard to available agricultural products, the Community undertakes to ensure that export refunds can be fixed further in advance for all ACP States in respect of a range of products drawn up in the light of the food requirements expressed by those States.

2. Advance fixing shall be for one year and shall be applied each year throughout the life of this Agreement, it being understood that the level of the refund will be determined in accordance with the methods normally followed by the Commission...”


Commitments in: Disaster risk reduction and humanitarian assistance - Humanitarian assistance




1. Humanitarian and emergency assistance shall be accorded to the population in ACP States faced with serious economic and social difficulties of an exceptional nature resulting from natural disasters, man-made crises such as wars and other conflicts or extraordinary circumstances having comparable effects. The humanitarian and emergency assistance shall be maintained for as long as necessary to deal with the emergency needs resulting from these situations.

2. Humanitarian and emergency assistance shall be granted exclusively according to the needs and interests of victims of disasters and in line with the principles of international humanitarian law. In particular, there shall be no discrimination between victims on grounds of race, ethnic origin, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation and free access to and protection of victims shall be guaranteed as well as the security of humanitarian personnel and equipment.

3. Humanitarian and emergency assistance shall aim to:

(a) safeguard human lives in crises and immediate post-crisis situations brought about by natural disasters, conflict or war;
(b) contribute to the financing and delivery of humanitarian aid and to the direct access to it of its intended beneficiaries by all logistical means available;
(c) carry out short-term rehabilitation and reconstruction to enable the parts of the population affected to benefit once more from a minimum of socio-economic integration and, as soon as possible, create the conditions for a resumption of development on the basis of long-term objectives set by the ACP country concerned;
(d) address the needs arising from the displacement of people (refugees, displaced persons and returnees) following natural or man-made disasters so as to meet, for as long as necessary, all the needs of refugees and displaced persons (wherever they may be) and facilitate action for their voluntary repatriation and re-integration in their country of origin; and
(e) assist the ACP State in setting up disaster prevention and preparedness mechanisms, including prediction and early-warning systems, with a view to reducing the consequences of disasters.

4. Similar assistance, as set out above, may be granted to ACP States taking in refugees or returnees to meet acute needs not covered by emergency assistance...

...6. Humanitarian and emergency assistance operations shall be undertaken either at the request of the ACP country affected by the crisis situation, the Commission, international organisations or local or international non-State organisations. Such assistance shall be administered and implemented under procedures permitting operations that are rapid, flexible and effective. The Community shall take adequate steps to facilitate speedy action, which is required to meet the immediate needs for which emergency assistance is needed.”


Commitments in: Environment - Environmental degradation and natural resource management

Environment and natural resources

1. Cooperation on environmental protection and sustainable utilisation and management of natural resources shall aim at:

(a) mainstreaming environmental sustainability into all aspects of development cooperation and support programmes and projects implemented by the various actors;

(b) building and/or strengthening the scientific and technical human and institutional capacity for environmental management for all environmental stakeholders;

(c) supporting specific measures and schemes aimed at addressing critical sustainable management issues and also relating to current and future regional and international commitments concerning mineral and natural resources such as:
(i) tropical forests, water resources, coastal, marine and fisheries resources, wildlife, soils, biodiversity;
(ii) protection of fragile ecosystems (e.g. coral reef);
(iii) renewable energy sources notably solar energy and energy efficiency;
(iv) sustainable rural and urban development;
(v) desertification, drought and deforestation;
(vi) developing innovative solutions to urban environmental problems; and
(vii) promotion of sustainable tourism.

(d) Taking into account issues relating to the transport and disposal of hazardous waste.

2. Cooperation shall also take account of:
(a) the vulnerability of small island ACP countries, especially to the threat posed by climate change;
(b) the worsening drought and desertification problems especially of least developed and land-locked countries; and
(c) institutional development and capacity building.”


Commitments in: Gender - Gender and political agency


Gender issues

Cooperation shall help strengthen policies and programmes that improve, ensure and broaden the equal participation of men and women in all spheres of political, economic, social and cultural life. Cooperation shall help improve the access of women to all resources required for the full exercise of their fundamental rights...”


Commitments in: Education - Primary and basic education


Social sector development

1. Cooperation shall support ACP States’ efforts at developing general and sectoral policies and reforms which improve the coverage, quality of and access to basic social infrastructure and services and take account of local needs and specific demands of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, thus reducing the inequalities of access to these services. Special attention shall be paid to ensuring adequate levels of public spending in the social sectors. In this context, cooperation shall aim at:

(a) improving education and training, and building technical capacity and skills;
(b) improving health systems and nutrition, eliminating hunger and malnutrition, ensuring adequate food supply and security;
(c) integrating population issues into development strategies in order to improve reproductive health, primary health care, family planning; and prevention of female genital mutilation;
(d) promoting the fight against HIV/AIDS;
(e) increasing the security of household water and improving access to safe water and adequate sanitation;
(f) improving the availability of affordable and adequate shelter for all through supporting low-cost and low-income housing programs and improving urban development; and
(g) encouraging the promotion of participatory methods of social dialogue as well as respect for basic social rights.

2. Cooperation shall also support capacity-building in social areas such as programmes for training in the design of social policies and modern methods for managing social projects and programmes; policies conducive to technological innovation and research; building local expertise and promoting partnerships; and round-table discussions at national and/or regional level.

3. Cooperation shall promote and support the development and implementation of policies and of systems of social protection and security in order to enhance social cohesion and to promote self-help and community solidarity. The focus of the support shall, inter-alia, be on developing initiatives based on economic solidarity, particularly by setting-up social development funds adapted to local needs and actors.”