Human Rights and investment protection emerged as two of the most sensitive issues as European Community Ministers met with Ministers from fifty-seven African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states on Monday (25 June).
SV: EEC Negotiator Jean Francois Poncet sitting at conference table.
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CU: Sudanese table position PULL BACK TO Sudanese delegates
SCU: Togolese delegates
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Background: Human Rights and investment protection emerged as two of the most sensitive issues as European Community Ministers met with Ministers from fifty-seven African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states on Monday (25 June). The meeting was held to continue discussions aimed at drawing up a new trade and aid agreement to replace the 1975 Lome Convention which expires next year.
SYNOPSIS: The Europeans want to hurry the discussions because their chief negotiator - French Foreign Minister Jean Francois-Poncet - has to leave for Tokyo on Thursday (28 June) to attend the economic summit conference. The ACP states -- most of them former colonies of European Community members -- now seem ready to accept a revised EEC offer of aid worth seven point, billion dollars over five years.
The talks broke down last month after the fifty-seven countries rejected an aid offer worth six point seven billion dollars. But there are still problems. The European Ministers want to introduce a reference to respect for human rights in the new agreement. Many ACP countries fear this could be used by the European Community to interfere in their international affairs. The question of investment guarantees has also proved difficult. Some of the larger E.E.C. countries with their own schemes to protect investments in developing countries do not want to replace them with a joint community Scheme.