This article examines how the African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) Group is constructed and deconstructed in discourse. Positioning Theory is introduced as a theoretical and analytical framework for understanding how social reality is discursively constructed. The article analyses how the ACP Group and other actors are generated and given meaning within various discursive contexts. This discourse is compared with other practices, and the positionings engendered through each are compared. The concept of discursive space is introduced as a mechanism to explain how positionings influence people's actions, and actual and potential consequences for development of the analysed discourses are discussed. Adapted from the source document.
The African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) Group of States is an intergovernmental organization established by the Georgetown Agreement in June 1975, and it consists of 79 countries across three continents. This heterogeneous cluster of countries, originally bound by their colonial ties with the member states of the European Union (EU), came together out of the need to form a common front in the negotiations of the first ACP–EU partnership. The spirit of the Lomé Convention (1975–2000), initially considered a very progressive model of North–South cooperation, gradually evaporated; thus, the Cotonou Agreement (2000–2020), with its profound changes in the areas of aid and trade, was an attempt to normalize relations between the two blocs. The overall patchy record of the various ACP–EU partnership agreements and a number of events—notably, decreased interest within the EU, intensification of regionalization dynamics in the ACP Group, and adoption of separate strategies for cooperation with African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries and regions—cast doubts upon the relevance of the ACP–EU framework and threatened the existence of the ACP Group. Unsurprisingly, the launch of the negotiations in September 2018 for a new ACP–EU partnership was not without difficulty. While there are no doubts that the ACP Group has intrinsically been linked to the EU, at the same time it should be noted that it has attempted to promote intra-ACP cooperation, although with mixed successes at best, and to strengthen its presence in the international arena and diversify its partnerships, also in this case with limited results. Indeed, despite various pledges to support the principles of unity and solidarity, the effectiveness of the ACP Group has been compromised by the interplay of a plurality of interests, limited financial resources, and a perceived delinkage of the Brussels-based institutions from ACP national capitals. The revision of the Georgetown Agreement in December 2019, including the transformation into the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), is an attempt to reinvigorate the ACP Group, with stronger emphasis on financial sustainability, joint action for the pursuit of multilateralism, and, importantly, increased autonomy from the EU.
Defence date: 16 January 2007 ; Supervisor: Prof. Bruno De Witte ; This thesis explores the impact of international human rights law on the changing trends in international development policy and practice. The subject matter is analysed through a case study of European Union development cooperation policy and its relations with the group of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states.1 Whilst there is a burgeoning literature on this subject, known as the nexus between human rights and development?,2 the discovery of the convergence or union between human rights and development may have come of some surprise to non-jurists and to those within in the field of development. According to professionals engaged in this domain, development is usually defined and identified with economic growth, trade, capital flows and the transfer of technology.3 As Johan Galtung argues, both concepts (human rights? and development?) have evolved in distinct historical contexts, therefore, any connection or compatibility has more to do with Western history and culture than anything else.4 Furthermore, as Sano states, whilst both human rights and development were institutionalised in the global system in the post-World War II climate, both have different roots and have emerged in different contexts.5 In light of these claims, an obvious point of departure should consider what is meant by the terms development? and human rights? and briefly describe the interlinkages between these previously distinct domains. To this end, the idea of a gradual convergence of human rights and development will be introduced6 and this will be followed by a discussion of where EU development cooperation policy fits into this debate. In the remaining sections of the introductory chapter, the aims of this thesis and research questions will be outlined. A description of the methodology used, literature review and an overview of the chapters will also be presented.