The 23rd session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) took place in Horsens, Denmark, from 28 to 30 May 2012. The Assembly, comprised of Members of Parliament from the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) States and the European Union (EU) Member States, held political discussions on common key issues.
The ACP-EU JPA was well attended by ACP and European civil society organizations ranging from framers’ organizations to heath organizations such as Marie Stopes International (MSI) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN). MSI and IPPF EN attended the ACP-EU JPA in the framework of a joint activity under Countdown2015Europe with the objective of ensuring that Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and social issues are taken up in the current negotiations on the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).
Prior to the opening of the 23rd session, MSI addressed EU and ACP representatives at the Women’s Forum and stressed the importance of improving access to health services for women in rural areas. The recommendations formulated by MSI brought about positive reactions from the audience. The powerpoint presentation is available here.
Moreover, IPPF EN, as an active member of the Cotonou Working Group of CONCORD (the European NGO confederation for Relief and Development), co-organized a lunch debate on the 11th EDF where the importance of consulting CSOs and Parliamentarians in the 11th EDF process was highlighted. It is in this context that IPPF EN contributed to the drafting of several briefing papers on development key issues notably on HIV/AIDS, the 11th EDF, and the 20% benchmark for basic social services were disseminated at this well-attended lunch-debate – over 100 participants- and at the ACP-EU JPA. These materials are available here.
In parallel to the ACP-EU JPA sessions, MSI and IPPF EN held fringe meetings with Parliamentarians from Cameroon, Malawi, Senegal, Zambia and Zimbabwe to raise their awareness on the unmet need for family planning in their respective countries and to call them to take concrete actions with regard to national policies and funding for women’s health.