African, Caribbean and Pacific countries consider the “phenomenon of homosexuality” to threaten relationship with EU
A group of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states recently issued a unilateral declaration “on the peaceful co-existence of religions and the importance given to the phenomenon of homosexuality” in their partnership with the EU.
Update (6 December 2010): Read the response from MEPs
The Joint Parliamentary Assembly between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific states recently signed the revised Cotonou Agreement (PDF), delineating the trade and political relationship between the two parties. Despite the EU’s insistance, ACP states refused to include sexual orientation in the list of grounds on which discrimination should be banned.
Following these negotiations, the ACP group of states adopted a unilateral declaration in September. The declaration calls on the European Union to “refrain from any attempts to impose its values which are not freely shared”, linking homosexuality to incitement to religious hatred.
Download the unilateral declaration (PDF, English and French)
The European Parliament officially received the document late October. In a partial response, it adopted a resolution on the work of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in 2009. In the resolution drafted by MEP Eva Joly , the European Parliament “reiterates the principle of the universality of human rights and non-discrimination as the basis upon which to enhance legitimate democratic governance and the political dialogue at the Joint Parliamentary Assembly”.
The next ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly will meet in Kinshasa, DRC, from the 2nd to the 4th December 2010.