Under the leadership of the President, Teresa Efua Asangono, the Senate Permanent Commission on Foreign Policy, International Cooperation and African Integration met on 29th May to adopt the international agreements and conventions signed by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea with friendly countries on a multilateral level, after a detailed, exhaustive review by the commission.
There were framework agreements for Economic, Trade, Cultural, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, sighed by the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea with the Republic of Djibouti and Portugal; the Agreement for Visa Exemption for holders of diplomatic, official and service passports signed by the Governments of Equatorial Guinea and the Russian Federation, and the proposed visa exemption between the Government of the Republic of Tunisia for diplomatic, official and service passports, the agreement to ratify membership of our country to AFREXIMBANK, through which an continental Africa free trade zone is created, and its respective protocols on the trade in goods, the trade in services, and the rules and procedures in relation to the resolution of conflicts, and the Minamata agreement on mercury.
With respect to conventions, there is the African Union convention on Protection and Assistance for displaced persons in Africa, known as the Kampala Convention; the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants, COP; and Central Africa Conventions for the Control of Small Arms, ammunition and all parts and components that can be used in their manufacture, repair and assembly, and the African Union Convention on the Prevention and Fight Against Corruption.
The agreements and conventions have been widely debated in depth by the Senators, who made constructive comments and recommendations to the Government, taking into account that the Senate is called to work in close collaboration with the Executive for aspects and implications of those bilateral and multilateral instruments with which they are involved.
The recommendations from the senators, above all regarding the agreement through which the continental Africa free trade zone is envisaged, focussed their comments on the adoption of the agreement, due to the complexity it implies for our country. The interventions were chiefly on the disadvantages that could affect the population, in the event of immediate ratification, and thus they opted to continue with a more detailed study by the Government.
Then there was a reading of the report by the Ad-Hoc Commission charged with studying the report on the installation of an office of the African Export-Import Bank, AFREXIMBANK, in Equatorial Guinea.
The report maintains that, although having stated that the agreement is non-negotiable and requires ratification, the commission is sticking with the decision by the plenary session of the Permanent Commission on Foreign Policy in admitting the authorisation for ratification of the membership agreement, recommending to the Government to study in more detail the report regarding the installation of an office of the bank in Equatorial Guinea, and to look at and negotiate the contents of the articles mentioned in order to adapt their contents to the national and sub-regional legal regulations, for the benefit of our country.
The work concluded with a review of the minutes and verdict issued by the Permanent Commission on Foreign Policy in order to check that all the interventions, comments and recommendations given by commissioners during the second reading of the various agreements and conventions signed by the Republic of Equatorial Guinea with other countries and international bodied were included.
Source: Equatorial Guinea Press and Information Office