The South Sudan Cotonou Agreement: What You Need to Know
The Cotonou Agreement is a partnership agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP). It was first signed in 2000 to replace the Lomé Convention, which had been in place since 1975. The agreement is named after the city of Cotonou in Benin, where it was signed.
South Sudan became an independent country in 2011 and signed the Cotonou Agreement in 2014. The country is classified as a least developed country (LDC), which means it has low levels of human development and a high-level vulnerability to economic and environmental shocks.
The Cotonou Agreement aims to promote sustainable development and reduce poverty in ACP countries. It covers a wide range of areas, including economic cooperation, trade, political dialogue, and development assistance. The agreement also includes provisions on human rights, good governance, and the rule of law.
South Sudan`s participation in the Cotonou Agreement is significant as it provides the country with access to financial and technical assistance from the European Union. The agreement also offers South Sudan an opportunity to increase its exports to Europe through the EU`s preferential trade agreements.
However, South Sudan faces significant challenges in implementing the Cotonou Agreement. The country is still recovering from a civil war that began in 2013, which has left millions of people displaced and the economy in shambles. The ongoing conflict has also hindered South Sudan`s ability to meet the conditions for accessing development assistance under the agreement.
The Cotonou Agreement is set to expire on December 31, 2020, and negotiations for a new agreement are currently underway. The EU has proposed a new partnership agreement that aims to strengthen the EU-ACP partnership and address new global challenges, such as climate change and migration.
In conclusion, the South Sudan Cotonou Agreement is an important step towards promoting sustainable development and reducing poverty in the country. However, it also presents significant challenges that must be addressed to ensure its successful implementation. As negotiations for a new agreement continue, it will be essential to consider South Sudan`s unique circumstances and ensure that the country has the support it needs to achieve its development goals.