During the 115th Session of the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) held in Brussels on November 27 and 28, 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi His Excellency Ambassador Albert Shingiro announced his concern regarding the future of the OACPS partnership and the European Union.
Indeed, in his speech, Minister Shingiro took a trip down memory lane where he reminded the participants that the outgoing President-in-Office of the OACPS, His Excellency Mr. Uhuru KENYATTA, had, during his term of office, made a commitment to seize the authorities of the high European institutions, starting with the rotating presidency of the European Union, the Presidents of the European Commission, of the European Parliament, of the Council of Europe, in order to convince them of the challenges of signing the post-Cotonou agreement. However, the situation has not improved much since then.
The Head of Burundian diplomacy H.E Amb. Albert Shingiro is convinced that so far we are not yet at an impasse, because there are ways and means to continue together the journey already begun. For him, a strategy commensurate with the challenges faced by the countries of the OACPS and the EU, having as a backdrop the signing of the post-Cotonou agreement which would ultimately establish the unblocking of a situation which persists, is necessary.
At the next OACPS-EU meeting, the two parties will have two choices to make, either to move forward with the conclusion of the OACPS-EU partnership agreement in a spirit of trust and mutual interest, or to retreat and call into question all the efforts already made at this stage. However, this last option is not that of Burundi which is attached to the principles and values of solidarity, unity, cohesion and resilience which have always characterized our organization.
It should be noted that on the sidelines of the 115th Session of the OACPS Council of Ministers, the Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs His Excellency Ambassador Albert Shingiro took this opportunity to meet high personalities including HE Mr. Georges R. Pinto Chikoti, Secretary General of the OACPS. They discussed national, regional and global issues. This session was followed by the 45th meeting of the OACP-EU Council of Ministers.