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CA/EU: III Round of Negotiations for an Association Agreement
09 May 2008
The Central American states-Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa
Rica, Honduras together with Panama (as an Observer State)–are conducting negotiations to conclude an Association Agreement with the European Union.
Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala are not yet States Parties to the ICC.
The first round of negotiations for an association agreement took place in Costa Rica (22-26 October, 2007); the second round, in Brussels (25-29 February, 2008) and the third round in El Salvador (14-18 April, 2008). The fourth round will be held in Brussels, by mid July 2008.
In this context several news outlets have reported on the negotiations, highlighting in particular, discussions and concerns expressed by some Central American countries in reference to the potential inclusion of an ICC clause in the association agreement. It was clear, after the third round of negotiations, that the Rome Statute is one of the key political topics in the negotiations, according to Ambassador Aguiar Machado from the EU. Although the association agreement is not yet finalised, it was the European Union's Ambassador to Central America and Panama, H.E. Ms.
Francesca Mosca who said – after the second round of negotiations- that both regional blocks will have to revise their positions, in order to overcome the fact that three Central American nations negotiating are not yet parties to the Rome Statute.
Find below for the following information:
1. Statements from EU officials.
2. Statements from Central American governments.
3. Statements from NGO (including a CICC statement by Regional Coordinator Francesca Varda)
Note that the translations below are unofficial and are provided by the CICC Secretariat as a service to our members, and should not be used for quoting in any official documents.
Mariana Rodriguez Pareja
I. STATEMENTS FROM EU OFFICIALS
A. AMBASSADOR MR. JOAO AGUIAR MACHADO, CHIEF NEGOTIATOR OF THE EU DELEGATION
1. "Europa endurece su discurso," La Prensa Grafica, 18 April 2008
".... Mr. Joao Aguiar Machado, Chief Negotiator of the EU delegation spoke
about the Rome Statute, funding treaty of the International Criminal
Court. On this respect, he highlighted: 'We are not here to set up
conditions. The Rome Statute is very important to the European Union',
refering to the Central American [block] position that respects each
country's position towards the ICC, where El Salvador, Nicaragua and
Guatemala have not yet ratified..."
2. "Negociador europeo aboga por alcanzar tratado futurista,"Entrevista
con el Embajador Aguiar Machado, Prensa Libre, 22 April 2008,
* Interview with Ambassador Aguiar Machado.
"Mr. Joao Aguiar Machado, Chief Negotiator of the EU delegation to the
Association Agreement with CA, made a balance of the third round of
negotiations that ended last Friday in San Salvador.
…. QUESTION: What will happen with the countries that have not ratified
the Rome Statute, among them Guatemala?
A. MACHADO: For the European Union, the Rome Statute is a very important
treaty at international level. More than 130 countries have acceded to the
Rome Statute, that is why it is so relevant. Nevertheless, we can figure
out a way to advance in the political basis of the agreement. As I said,
Europe is not imposing anything..."
B. AMBASSADOR MRS. FRANCESCA MOSCA, HEAD OF THE DELEGATION OF THE EUROPEAN
UNION TO CENTRAL AMERICA AND PANAMA,
1. "Descarta UE condicionar adhesión de Centroamérica a Corte Penal,"
Notimex, 21 April 2008
"… The European Union (EU) said the ICC is not a pre-condition in the
negotiations for an association agreement between the EU and Central
America. Francesca Mosca, EU Ambassador to Central America based in Managua, said there were some disagreements between both regions on this point.
'We do not agree on this point,' aknowledged Mosca in a press briefing.…'We are not asking that when the [Association] agreement is finalised the Central American states accede to the [International Criminal] Court, the European Union would like to see more countries at the Court, we believe that a globalised world needs globalised justice,' she added..."
2. "Advierten falta coincidencias entre Centroamérica y UE sobre adhesión
a CPI", Terra, 21 April 2008
"… [The Head of the European comisión to Central America and Panama Mrs.] Francesca Mosca, noted that the accesion to the Rome Statute or the ICC 'was addressed and there have been interesting exchanges to clarify the different positions, but we do not agree on this point.' Nicaragua,Guatemala and El Salvador have not yet ratified the Statute, therefore do not aknowledge the ICC jurisdiction, arguing that they face constitutional obstacles. Mosca said that the Rome Statute ratitication 'is not a pre-condition from the EU, but Europe would like to see most of the countries parties to it..."
3. "Centroamérica y UE sin coincidencias sobre adhesión a Corte Penal
Internacional," Proceso (Honduras), 21 April 2008
"… [The Head of the European comisión to Central America and Panama Mrs.] Mosca said that the Rome Statute ratitication 'is not a pre-condition from the EU, but Europe would like to see most of the countries parties...' She added that the ICC is something for the future, it is non-retroactive and that she believes that each party will have to continue clarifing the positions on this point, to overcome all the obstacles. The European Ambassador highlighted that there were many agreements on other issues, like education, gender and youth, justice, freedom and security...."
See also (in Spanish):
i. "UE dice que no hubo avance en lo político en asociación con
Centroamérica," Radio La Primerísimo, 22 April 2008
ii. "Advierten sobre la falta coincidencias entre Centroamérica y la UE sobre la adhesión a la CPI," Yahoo Noticias, 21 April 2008
iii. "Advierten sobre la falta coincidencias entre Centroamérica y la UE sobre la adhesión a la CPI," Terra, 21 April 2008
iv. "Advierten falta coincidencias aun sobre adhesión a Corte Penal
Internacional," Terra, 21 April 2008
v. "Advierten falta coincidencias entre Centroamérica y UE sobre adhesión a CPI," MSN, 21 April 2008
vi. "Advierten sobre la falta coincidencias entre Centroamérica y la UE sobre la adhesión a la CPI," Periodista Digital, 21 April 2008
vii. "Advierten falta coincidencias entre Centroamérica y UE sobre
adhesión a CPI," Guatemala online, 22 April 2008
viii. "UE no condicionará acuerdo con Centroamérica a reconocimiento de CPI," Mi Punto, 22 April 2008
C. AMBASSADOR MR. PETROS MAVROMICHALIS, HEAD OF THE EU NEGOTIATING TEAM FOR COOPERATION AND ASSOCIATION AGREEMENTS
1. "El interés en un Acuerdo de Asociación con Centroamérica es político y no comercial, dice la UE," Soitu, España, 17 April 2008
"…Petros Mavromichalis, who heads the EU delegation for cooperation
affairs, said in an interview with EFE that the main objective of the
association agreement with Central America is to 'aknowledge the close
relationship between both parties.'
…. Regarding the request from the EU to central American states to ratify the Rome Statute, that created the International Criminal Court, Mavromichalis said that 'it is not a condition', but a matter of importance that nations should adopt by their own will.
'For us it is a matter of great importance. The struggle against the most serious crimes and impunity is a key issue nowdays for every body and we want our partners in Central America to discuss it..' he added..."
See also (in Spanish):
i. "La UE no condiciona Acuerdo de Asociación al Estatuto de Roma,"Diario Colatino, 16 April 2008,
ii. "Debate político pesa sobre lo comercial,"El Periódico, Guatemala, 19 April 2008, http://www.elperiodico.com.gt/es/20080419/economia/52992/
II. STATEMENTS BY CENTRAL AMERICAN OFFICIALS
A. EL SALVADOR- PRESIDENT MR. SACA
1. "Centroamérica pedirá a UE respeto en negociaciones," El Nuevo Diario, Nicaragua, 9 April 2008, http://www.elnuevodiario.com.ni/internacionales/12694
"Central America will request the European Union (EU) respect for each
countries' position in the ongoing negotiations for an association
agreement, informed President Tony Saca.
… Saca said this Tuesday in a press briefing in the Costarican capital
that 'there are countries that have ratified the Rome Statute and there are others, that have not. El Salvador has to overcome constitutional obstacles and that is why we have not ratified it."
2. "El Salvador, Guatemala y Nicaragua rechazan pedido de Unión Europea,"El Nuevo Diario, Nicaragua, 10 April 2008
"Salvadorean president Elias Antonio Saca said that his country, Guatemala and Nicaragua are not willing to enter in the ICC, as requested the EU. The three countries do not accept the ICC as a condition to conclude an association agreement..."
B. MR. ROBERTO ECHANDI, HEAD OF THE COSTA RICA DELEGATION
"Temas políticos frenan avance de acuerdo Centroamérica- UE," La Prensa Latina (Cuba/México), 20 April 2008,
"'The political issues are impeding the advances in the negotiations for an association agreement with the EU, said the Chief Negotiator for Costa Rica, Roberto Echandi. Among those issues, the Rome Statute's ratification..."
C. MR. EDUARDO CALIX, DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS FROM EL SALVADOR
"Cierre de Ronda de negociación del AdA, sin relevantes avances," Diaro Colatino, 19 April 2008,
"The closing of the III round of negotiations for an association agreement between Europe and Central america made clear Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala's opposition to the Rome Statute...
The spokesperson to the III round, Deputy Minister of FA Eduardo Calix
said that the rejection by these three states to subscribe the Rome
Statute does not make them anti-democratic..."
See also (in Spanish):
i. "El estatuto no es prioridad para gobierno salvadoreño,"Diario
Colatino, 16 de April de 2008,
ii. "Centroamérica espera que CPI no se interponga en acuerdo con Europa," Univisión, EE.UU. 15 de April de 2008,
iii. Cumbre en Lima será "clave" para negociar "al más alto nivel" con UE, Univisión, EE.UU., 22 de April de 2008,
E. MR. MANUEL CORONEL, DEPUTY MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF NICARAGUA
"Centroamérica y la UE cierran III ronda de negociación sin acuerdo
político," El Nuevo Diario, Nicaragua, 18 de April de 2008,
"…. In this new round, the Central American countries trust there will be advances in the definition of several terms, including on the political aspect of the treaty and the request by the EU to accede to the Rome Statute.
... For the Nicaraguan Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Coronel,
nobody is against the ICC concepts...."
i. "Ingreso a Corte Penal Internacional es un lunar en la negociación con UE,"Prensa Libre, Costa Rica, 22 de April de 2008
III. STATEMENTS BY CICC MEMBERS, INCLUDING CICC STATEMENT BY REGIONAL
COORDINATOR FRANCESCA VARDA
i. "CCPI espera que adhesión genere justicia global," Diario Colatino, 16 de April de 2008,
"Francesca Varda, from the Coalition for the ICC, said that the ICC is a high-quality system of justice for the most serious crimes against human rights..."
ii. "Organizaciones de defensa derechos humanos piden ratificar Estatuto de Roma," Terra, 16 de April de 2008,
"Human rights organisations from Central America urged today their
governements to ratify the Rome Statute and requested the EU their support in this initiative..."