Negotiations began in Brussels on Monday (18 September) on a new accord to replace the Lome Convention.
GV EEC Commissioners talking in foyer as delegates arrive.
SV Zaire delegate talking, and taking his seat at conference.
GV Delegates from Senegal.
SV Delegates from Tonga.
SV Delegates from Nigeria, pan to delegates, from Malawi.
SV ACP Ambassadors Committee President, Mr. Kwaku Asante, from Ghana.
SV Delegates from Botswana.
GV PAN delegates at desks, to table of EEC Commissioners.
GV PAN, delegates seated.
Unrestricted access for all ACP exports to the EEC was one of three objectives set down on the opening day by Ghana's EEC envoy, and president of the ACP Ambassadors' committee, Mr Kwaku Asante. The first objective was a substantial rise in the resources of the European Development Fund (EDF), which will have provided more than three billion European units of account (worth 3.75 billion dollars 1.8 billion pounds) in aid during the four years of the current Convention. ACP countries also seek an enlarged role for the industrial development centre, which matches potential EEC investors with ACP development needs.
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Background: Negotiations began in Brussels on Monday (18 September) on a new accord to replace the Lome Convention. The Convention is a trade and aid agreement linking the European, Economic Community (EEC) with fifty-four African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. It expires on March the first, 1980.
SYNOPSIS: Delegates gather for the talks on the Manhattan Centre, Brussels. The Lome Convention was described by one EEC commissioner as the first experimental step which was -- successful though limited -- towards a new international economic order. Negotiations for the new agreement first began last July, when ACP and Common Market foreign ministers met in Brussels.
In July, ministers differed sharply about the new agreement. ACP countries called for basic changes, but the Community said present arrangements are sound, and need only slight modifications. Among the most prickly issues is human rights. Some Common Market countries, notably Britain, advocate giving aid only to countries where basic human rights are observe. But some community members are not as adamant and the ACP countries have rejected this approach.
The talks are expected to last eight months. The ACP countries seek a big increase in the so-called `stabex" fund, from which they can claim compensation for earnings lost through floods, hurricanes, and other disasters. They especially want the fund broadened to cover exports of minerals. These countries are worried by signs that the Community would like to toughen their restrictions, making it easier for them to limit the import of sensitive industrial and semi-manufactured goods from ACP nations.