INTRODUCTION: Many third-world nations struggling against continuing global economic recession are getting more financial help, thanks to a special agreement.
(MUTE) CU INTERIOR EEC Commissioner for Development, Mr. Pisani shaking hands with African ambassadors. (2 SHOTS)
SV Ambassadors talking.
SV Mali Ambassador and Mr. Pisani signing agreement and shaking hands. (2 SHOTS)
CU Ambassadors talking.
SV Ivory Coast Ambassador signing and shaking hands with Mr. Pisani. (2 SHOTS)
SV Rwanda Ambassador seated at table and signing agreement.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Many third-world nations struggling against continuing global economic recession are getting more financial help, thanks to a special agreement. Nearly seven years ago, 58 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) entered into a trade aid partnership with the EEC (European Economic Community). The Community agreed to pay compensation from a special fund to the other countries when raw material prices and trade fell below acceptable levels. Documents setting out the latest payments were signed in Brussels last week (24 July).
SYNOPSIS: Attending the ceremony with ambassadors of the ACP nations was the European Community's Commissioner for Development, Mr. Edgard Pisani. Before the signing of official papers, they discussed the problems their common agreement was designed to combat. For the ACP countries, the situation is particularly worrying.
Senegal and Sudan for example, have been hit by a big drop in their income from peanut exports. Other countries like the Ivory Coast, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi have seen their returns of once-lucrative coffee exports fall. Banana and copra revenue has also dropped off dramatically.
When advanced Western industrial nations find themselves in economic difficulties, there are many ways in which they can protect themselves. But it is not so easy for emerging nations, with fewer resources and less-advanced economies. It was against this background of world trading conditions that the special agreement - known as the LOME Convention - was reached in 1975. However, it has not been an entirely trouble-free partnership.
The pact was renewed in February 1980, despite past squabbles over how much compensation nations should get. Most of the ACP countries feel there should be more money in the special fund. But although there are disagreements on either side, the general idea of rich countries helping the developing nations is still regarded as a breakthrough.