The Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, has directed the Minister for Foreign Affairs to present to Parliament for scrutiny the Post-Cotonou Agreement, which could have sections that are inconsistent with Uganda’s laws.
The Post-Cotonou Agreement is preceded by the Cotonou Partnership Agreement between the 27 states of the European Union and 78 member states of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
“The President has agreed that no international agreements should be signed without his clearance because he will have to consult the Attorney General. The Minister for Foreign Affairs cannot commit Uganda on foreign agreements,” said Tayebwa.
During the plenary sitting on Thursday, 06 April 2023, Hon. Samuel Acuti (Indep., Kole North County) observed that several provisions in the Post-Cotonou Agreement called for provision of LGBTQ rights in the education curriculum.
“Uganda stood firm against these provisions and I appreciate the Deputy Speaker for speaking out on this matter. We disagreed fundamentally on signing this agreement because of provisions that support homosexuality,” Acuti said.
“The Minister for Foreign Affairs cannot commit Uganda on foreign agreements”
He also noted the agreement had been initialed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
“We call on our Executive that the Attorney General should review all international documents before they are initialed by any government official, to ensure that they comply with our laws,” Acuti added.
Hon. Sarah Opendi (NRM, Tororo District) said the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement was initially focused on promoting trade and democracy among partner states.
She added that legislators made a call to the President not to sign the agreement before it is appraised.
“During the Inter-Parliamentary Conference, we recommended that the document should be laid before Parliament for review before the Executive signs it,” Opendi said.
The Post-Cotonou Agreement is one of three key resolutions of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly held on Maputo, Mozambique from 24 October to 03 November 2022.
The other resolutions of the Assembly are on global climate change and increasing access by ACP countries to EU commodities.