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					ACP/81/031/06 FINAL                           Brussels, 28 April 2006

                   AND ECONOMIC AFFAIRS
                    ACP HOUSE, BRUSSELS
                      24 TO 28 APRIL 2006



                      COOPERATION / OPPORTUNITIES

We, ACP Ministers of Finance and Economic Affairs,

     - Meeting in Brussels (Belgium) from 27 to 28 April 2006;

     &        the objectives contained in the Georgetown Agreement of 6 June 1975 marking the creation of
              the ACP Group, and the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement of 23 June 2000;
     &        the Declarations of the four Summits of ACP Heads of State and Government :

              -       1997 in Libreville (Gabon);
              -       1999 in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic);
              -       2002 in Nadi (Fiji); and
              -       2004 in Maputo, Mozambique];

     &        the resolutions of the 81st session of the ACP Council of Ministers on the Millennium
              Development Goals (MDGs) and on the recommendations of the Commission for Africa;

B.   RECALLING the commitments of the international community on the achievement of the MDGs to
     eradicate abject poverty and achieve the remaining seven (07) MDGs and respective targets by 2015 as
     contained in the UN Millennium Declaration of September 2000;
C.   RECALLING the commitments of the international community made at the United Nations
     Conference on Financing for Development (Monterrey, 2002) in particular on mobilizing international
     resources and increasing international financial and technical cooperation for development;
     &    the outcome of the G-8 Summit at Kananaskis of 25 – 27 June 2002 and in particular its Plan of
          Action for Africa and the commitment of the G-8 to systematically monitor the implementation of
          this Plan of Action;

     %     the outcome of the G-8 Summit at Gleneagles of 6-7 July 2005 in particular its decision to (a)
           double the development aid budget, (b) prioritise development aid in contribution to accelerating
           progress towards achieving the MDGs in Africa, and (c) cancel the outstanding external debts of
           countries eligible to the Initiative for the Highly Indebted Countries (HIPC) and other highly
           indebted countries;

     &     the outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2003);

     %     the outcome of the UN Summit in September 2005 on measures to achieve the MDGs within the
           remaining ten years of the agreed time-line up to 2015;

     %     the Hong Kong WTO Ministerial Declaration (December 2005) on the Doha Development
           Agenda (DDA), in particular on the development component of trade and the financing of Trade
           Related Activities, namely aid for trade as indicated in its paragraph 57;

E.   REAFFIRMING that advancing the development agenda requires genuine international cooperation
     and the full implementation of agreed commitments. Increased attention should also be given to the
     implementation of the commitments made at the Conferences of Rio, Beijing, Copenhagen, Cairo as
     well as in the Brussels, Almaty and Mauritius Programmes of Action in favor of LDCs, LLDCs and
     Small Island Developing States (SIDS) respectively;

F.   HAVING EXAMINED and WELCOMED the EU’s MDG package of 2005, in particular the General
     Affairs & External Relations Council (GAERC) conclusions on the five key areas, namely: (a)
     accelerating progress towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals, (b) financing for
     development, (c) trade and development, (d) policy coherence for development, and (e) focus on Africa;

G.   AWARE of the considerable importance of availability of additional financial resources and trading
     opportunities to the economic and social stability and sustainable development of ACP countries;

H.   GRAVELY CONCERNED over the possible increase in the gap between scaling-up of official
     development aid (ODA) and actual aid disbursements in light of the rather onerous conditionalities,
     tying of aid, rules and procedures in particular those of the European Commission and the IMF-
     established expenditure ceilings that impede aid delivery;

I.   DEEPLY CONCERNED about the slow progress in achieving the MDGs particularly in Sub-Saharan
     Africa, and that any failure to fulfill agreed commitments will simply protract the marginalization of the
     ACP countries in the global economy;

J.   HAVING CONSIDERED the possible implications of the European Union's new timeline for meeting
     its ODA commitments and the new ODA pledges by the new EU Members States on the additionality of
     resources for the economic partnership agreements (EPAs);

K.   CONCERNED by the high volatility of and long-term downward slide in commodity prices of primary
     products of export interest of ACP States and erosion of preferences and their impact on export
     revenues, competitiveness and debt sustainability;

L.   CONCERENED EQUALLY by the dramatic and protracted rise in the prices of oil and the possible
     long-term consequences on the economies of the ACP states;

M.   REAFFIRMING our commitments to the achievement of the MDGs by the target date of 2015, to the
     implementation of the Monterrey consensus on the financing for development, and to leveraging the
     development financing opportunities;



1.   WELCOME and SUPPORT the recent political impetus to achieve the MDGs by 2015, in particular
     the related financing commitments, and the redefinition of debt sustainability in the context of achieving
     the MDGs;

2.   UNDERLINE the growing centrality of the MDGs in global development cooperation dialogue and the
     pursuit of the MDGs as minimum policy targets in developing countries;

3.   WELCOME the recommendations of the Commission for Africa and those of the Regional review on
     further implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action for the LDCs at Bangkok in March 2006,
     especially those on the finance for development, debt relief, growth and poverty reduction, and
     development-based trade governance;

4.   REAFFIRM our commitment to implementing the development consensus based on mutual
     responsibility and accountability as agreed in 2002 in Monterrey at the International Conference on
     Financing for Development;

5.   RECONFIRM the primary responsibility of developing countries for their development and the crucial
     importance of national ownership for development; and further REAFFIRM that national development
     efforts need to be complemented and supported by an enabling international economic environment
     which ensures that developing countries have the required policy space to formulate and pursue their
     national development strategies;

6.   COMMIT OURSELVES to put in place appropriate policy frameworks designed to contribute to the
     attainment of the MDGs;


7.    WELCOME the renewed global commitment to fulfil the Monterrey commitments on substantial
      increase in development aid budgets by developed countries;

8.    WELCOME the decision of the G-8 Summit at Gleneagles to double development aid for Africa
      amounting to US$ 50 billion per year by 2010, and URGE the donor community to provide
      commensurate additional development financing to enable these countries achieve the internationally
      agreed development goals including the MDGs;

9.    WELCOME the EU GAERC Conclusions of 24 May, 2005 in particular on the volume of ODA and
      the commitments taken by the European Union and its Member States to attain a new collective EU
      target of 0.56% gross national income (GNI) for ODA by 2010 as well as the internationally agreed
      ODA target of 0,7% ODA/GNI by 2015;

10.   COMMEND the five developed countries that have already achieved the goal of 0.7% ODA/GNI and
      have committed to maintain their ODA at least at that level (Denmark, Luxemburg, the Netherlands,
      Sweden and Norway) and the eight other developed countries (Belgium, France, Finland, Ireland,
      Spain, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom) that have established firm timetables to achieve this
      target by 2015;

11.   CALL ON rest of the G-8 Countries to demonstrate leadership and join other developed countries by
      making firm commitments and time-tables for achieving the 0.7% GNI/ODA by 2015;

12.   URGE Austria, Greece and Portugal to establish firm timetables for meeting the 0.7% ODA/GNI target
      by 2015;

13.   STRESS that increased ODA by the developed countries should be accompanied by implementation
      mechanism that ensures quick accessibility and timely disbursement of resources for the achievement of
      the internationally agreed development goals including the MDGs;

14.   CALL ON the EU Members States to play their appropriate role by fulfilling their commitments on
      their ODA targets and special focus on Africa and the rest of the ACP States;

15.   URGE that additional aid flows should support strengthening infrastructure and internal investment
      climates in ACP States to enable these countries reduce poverty through strong economic growth;

16.   UNDERLINE the need for support to ACP countries in attracting greater flows of foreign direct
      investments (FDIs) and transfer of appropriate technology in order to enhance their development and

17.   COMMIT OURSELVES to ensure that domestic and ODA resources made available for achieving the
      MDGs will be utilised for that purpose and to participate in all initiatives on innovative sources of


18.   REAFFIRM our commitment to maintain and strengthen the principles of the ACP-EU partnership as
      contained in the Cotonou Partnership agreement;

19.   WELCOME the EU GAERC decision on (i) the setting-up and implementation of alternative, tailor-
      made debt relief options for post-conflict and post-natural disaster countries that have been excluded
      from the HIPC Initiative; (ii) exploring the possibility of using a temporary relief facility for debt
      servicing that would mitigate external shocks on debt stress; and (iii) the three-pronged special focus on

20.   WELCOME the EU GAERC decision to provide (i) additional support for trade adjustment and
      integration in view of the expected high trade integration costs faced by developing countries; (ii)
      coherence on EU development, trade and agricultural policies, and (iii) substantive financing for trade-
      related assistance (TRA);

21.   EXPRESS CONCERN over the omission of special reference to the ACP-EU partnership in the EU
      Development Policy – the EU Consensus – of July 2005, and URGE that the updated version should
      include a special reference of this partnership;

22.   WELCOME the EU’s initiative to establish and implement equitable cooperation strategies for Africa,
      Caribbean and the Pacific building on the premises of the Cotonou partnership agreement;

23.   EXPRESS CONCERN that there is still substantial uncommitted amount under the 9th EDF, and
      URGE the ACP States and Regional Organisations to urgently consider the reallocation of these
      resources to existing and new instruments addressing the challenges of market liberalization, preference
      erosion and the process of integration into the world economy so that these funds are not lost under the
      sunset clause in December 2007;

24. CALL ON the European Commission to:

      •    Provide leadership in establishing an equitable approach on the Community’s development
           cooperation strategies for Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific;

      •    develop equitable proposals for translating the scaling-up (doubling) of ODA commitments by
           2010 through a flexible combination of general budget and sector support in the ACP countries;

      •    develop proposals for leveraging the centralized EU development cooperation with those of the
           individual EU Members States with the view of translating the proposed doubling of the EU
           development cooperation budget into commensurate resources available for all ACP countries
           across the board;

      •    establish, in the light of the EU Council decision on this issue, an ACP-EU debt relief facility for
           post-conflict and post-natural disaster countries, and those facing severe and prolonged balance of
           payments difficulties;

      •    consider urgently, in the light of the EU Council decision on ODA scaling-up and additional
           support for trade adjustment, the need for sizable additionality of resources to support the EPA

      •    scale-down the level of conditionalities, rules and procedures governing the Community ODA
           with the view of facilitating higher disbursement performance, closer harmonization with national
           development strategies, greater predictability and stability, and facilitate genuine national
           ownership and improvement in aid delivery that is commensurate with the proposed scaling-up of

      •    prioritise support for measures to improve absorptive capacities for development aid in the ACP
           countries including recourse to the use of financial rules and procurement systems prevalent in the
           ACP countries;

      •    make the proposals on scaled-up ODA, MDG based debt relief, development-based trade
           governance, and Commission for Africa-equivalent focus on Africa the new baselines for the
           ACP-EU cooperation;

25.   STRESS that the EU should maintain coherence in its policy-making and foster ACP-EU
      complementarity in economic and trade cooperation when undertaking its internal policy development
      and thereby fulfill its obligations to ACP States;

                   SPECIAL FOCUS ON AFRICA AND

26.   CALL ON the leaders of the G-8 at their next Summit at St. Petersberg to make progress on their
      commitments for Africa as contained in the Action Plan for Africa that was agreed upon at the
      Kananaskis Summit (2003) and reaffirmed at Gleneagles (2005);

27.   CONFIRM that achieving the MDGs in Africa is a priority and URGE the international community to
      enhance its support for NEPAD, the socio-economic programme of the African Union;

28.   WELCOME the EU’s proposed special partnerships for Africa in particular those on infrastructure,
      water, energy and peace building; and URGE the scaling up of the funding;

29.   EMPHASISE the need for the UN and other multilateral agencies to address the specific challenges of
      Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and to implement fully the Barbados Programme for Action for
      Sustainable Development of SIDS and the follow-up Mauritius Strategy and CALL on the EU Member
      States to play a leading role in the implementation of these decisions;

30.   EQUALLY EMPHASISE the need for the UN and other multilateral agencies to address the specific
      geographical difficulties and other obstacles of land-locked ACP States and URGE these institutions to
      fully implement their commitments for these countries as contained in the Millennium Declaration, and
      those of Monterrey and Johannesburg;

               AID EFFECTIVENESS

31.   WELCOME and SUPPORT the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness of March 2005 in particular
      the commitment by donor countries to harmonise aid delivery processes and procedures, and to the
      increasing use of partner countries’ procurement systems as a basis for improving the delivery of the
      scaled-up ODA;

32.   WELCOME the commitments of donor countries, also in the context of the Paris Declaration on Aid
      Effectiveness, to reduce substantially the stock of parallel project implementation units (PMUs) in
      favour of general budget and sector support;

33.   CALL ON the European Commission and the EU Member States and the developed partners to
      implement their commitments to the Paris Declaration;

34.   WELCOME and SUPPORT the EU policy to use, with flexibility, general budget support as one of
      the modalities for delivering its development financing to the ACP countries;

35.   CALL ON the European Commission to establish, at the earliest, an All-ACP facility with sizable
      funding to assist ACP countries reform their public financial management systems, built on the best
      practices, so as to enable them make use of the general budgetary and sector support and, thereby,
      enhance their absorptive capacities of the expected increase in ODA flows;

36.   CALL ON the World Bank, the IMF and the Regional Development Banks to assist ACP countries to
      rapidly develop and improve their procurement and financial systems in order to facilitate

37.   RECOGNISE the importance of promoting and enhancing Policy Coherence for Development in the
      context of the Global Partnership for Development under MDG 8;

38.   STRESS the need to improve, in parallel of the efforts on the quantitative side of financing for
      development, the quality and effectiveness of ODA as well as to improve intra-donor policy coherence
      and to harmonize and streamline donor best practices which focus on measures that enhance the
      absorptive capacity and economic performance of increased ODA flows;


39.   WELCOME the decision of the G-8 Summit at Gleneagles to cancel the outstanding external debts of
      the HIPCs and other highly indebted countries and REAFFIRM that the multilateral debt relief
      initiative (MDRI) is an additional source of finance for the beneficiary countries to achieve the MDGs;
      FURTHER URGE that this facility be extended to all ACP States;

40.   WELCOME the decision of the G8 Finance Ministers to provide additional resources to match the
      dollar for dollar costs of the MDRI with the view of safeguarding the long-term financing capacity of
      the two MDRI financial institutions – the World Bank (the IDA) and the African Development Bank;

41.   WELCOME the decision of the shareholders of the IMF to provide immediate debt relief to the HIPCs
      and other heavily indebted poor countries through the MDRI as of January 2006; and URGE the IMF to
      review its eligibility threshold of US$ 380 to allow other low- and middle- income countries with debt
      stress to benefit from the MDRI;

42.   WELCOME the recent decisions of the shareholders of the World Bank and the African Development
      Bank to provide debt relief to the HIPCs starting July 2006 as part of the two institutions’ share of the

43.   URGE the three institutions implementing the MDRI, in particular the IDA, not to use the facility as
      pretext for reducing country allocations which further creates financing gaps in the beneficiary

44.   CALL ON the G-8 Member States and the multilateral financial institutions coordinating global debt
      relief measures to redefine debt sustainability and the criteria for eligibility to include internal debt stock
      in the context of achieving the MDGs;

45.   WELCOME and SUPPORT the recommendations of the Commission for Africa on financing the
      MDGs through:

      i.     an immediate 100% debt cancellation for low income countries in sub-Saharan Africa as part of
             the financing package for these countries to achieve the MDGs;

      ii.    establishing a debt relief mechanism for all sub-Saharan African countries including those
             currently excluded from the current schemes; and

      iii.   establish a special debt relief facility to support African countries to address problems caused by
             commodity-related shocks;

46.   CALL ON the different segments of major donor countries and the regional financial institutions to
      match the measures on debt relief to those of the MDRI;

47.   COMMIT OURSELVES to reinforce our capacities in public debt analysis and URGE the donor
      community and the international financial institutions (IFIs) to support these efforts;

                EXTERNAL SHOCKS

48.   EMPHASISE the urgency for the international community to address the impending high economic
      costs created by the external shocks due to the protracted rise in oil prices, high frequency of natural
      disasters, fluctuation in commodity prices in international markets, erosion of preferences in the context
      of trade liberalisation, avian flu, and many others;

49.   CALL ON the international community to provide appropriate accompanying mechanisms to enable
      ACP States to adequately address the adjustment challenges created by these external shocks;

50.   CALL ON the international community to agree on a global strategy to stabilise oil prices in order to
      protect the growth prospects of the developing countries;

51.   ENCOURAGE the net-oil exporting ACP countries to manage the use of the windfall revenue gains
      effectively and transparently so as to diversify their economies, reduce poverty and create sustainable

52.   URGE the donor community, in particular the European Union and the multilateral financial
      institutions, to support the ACP countries in bridging the financing gaps arising from the oil price
      increase by providing the requisite budget support;

53.   WELCOME the IMF facility for external shocks and URGE the IMF to provide concessional terms
      and not to impose onerous conditionalities for accessing this facility;

54.   CALL UPON all parties involved in the preparatory process of the St. Petersberg G-8 Summit to accord
      the oil price issue its due attention in order to facilitate adoption of appropriate measures at the Summit
      and their implementation thereafter;

55.   WELCOME the initiative of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union to establish an
      African Oil Fund; and URGE the African Union to accelerate the implementation of this facility;

56.   COMMIT OURSELVES to develop alternative sources of energy as a means to mitigate the impact of
      external shocks through rising oil prices and URGE the donor community to meet their commitments to
      assist ACP countries develop and use these alternative sources of energy;

57.   AGREE TO CONSIDER setting up an intra-ACP facility for energy development including oil
      exploration, development of alternative sources of energy, increasing refining capacities, and providing
      concessional financing for oil importing ACP countries; and MANDATE the ACP Secretariat to
      undertake the necessary preparations;

                TRADE GOVERNANCE

58.   EMPHASISE the importance of an open, and pro-development rule-based multilateral trading system
      that takes into account the differential level of development and needs of ACP States;

59.   WELCOME and SUPPORT the decisions of G-8 Summit at Gleneagles on the development-based
      trade governance in particular those related to the need for developed countries to ensure that the Doha
      round of multilateral trade negotiations makes development its absolute priority and delivers this
      promise; and for the donor community to provide developing countries with additional funding to offset
      the adjustments costs of integrating into the multilateral trading system;

60.   WELCOME the decision of the EU Council of 10 April 2006 to call on the Commission to put
      development at the heart of EPA negotiations and REAFFIRM that EPAs are “development tools” and
      must therefore be conceived to support long-term and sustainable development of ACP countries;

61.   INSIST on the preservation of the acquis of the Lomé / Cotonou preferential trade on which EPAs will
      build as a baseline that guarantees that in the aftermath of EPA negotiations and their conclusion no
      ACP State will be worse off; FURTHER REITERATE that EPAs should not undermine the
      integration processes in the ACP regions / configurations currently negotiating EPAs;

62.   REITERATE that economic partnership agreements (EPAs) must be designed to achieve long-term
      development, economic growth and poverty reduction in ACP countries; and, in this regard, URGE the
      EU to put the development dimension first in the EPA negotiations, and allow each ACP State and
      Region the flexibility to make its own decisions on the timing, pace, sequencing, and product coverage
      of market opening in line with individual country’s national development plan and poverty reduction

63.   FURTHER EMPHASISE the need for additional support for strengthening supply side capabilities,
      improve productive and export capacities while enhancing competitiveness in developing countries;

64.   REITERATE our support for the Commission for Africa’s recommendation for a concerted approach
      to address the volatility of commodity prices and to put into place public and private instruments to
      facilitate stabilization of export incomes of these countries and strengthening their export sectors and
      export corridors;

65.   WELCOME the decisions of the developed partners to provide additional funding to enable developing
      countries to adequately prepare themselves to integrate in the world economy; and URGE the aid-for-
      trade task force in Geneva to come up with proposals on the criteria and modalities for accessing such
      resources in a flexible and expeditious manner;

66.   REAFFIRM the centrality of supply side capacity and enhanced competitiveness for integrating in the
      multilateral trading system; and, in that regard, URGE that aid for trade should address the core
      challenges of development which is at the core of the ongoing WTO DDA and EPA negotiations;

67.   EMPHASISE that aid for trade should be front-loaded and de-linked from trade liberalization
      commitments expected from ACP countries under the Doha Development Agenda; and FURTHER
      URGE the WTO task force and Director General to speed up their work and ensure that the aid for trade
      initiative enters into force by 31 December 2006;

68.   CALL on the donor community to provide adequate and predictable non-debt creating funding to the
      aid for trade initiative to enable the ACP States to adapt to the situation following trade liberalisation;

69.   RECOGNIZE the increasing importance of South-South trade and economic cooperation and the
      changing context of North-South interdependence and terms of engagement; in this context, COMMIT
      OURSELVES to deepening and revitalizing South-South cooperation to take advantage of the new
      geography of international economic relations while recognizing this cooperation as complimentary to
      and not substitute for North-South cooperation;

70.   COMMIT OURSELVES to improve economic governance in our countries, in particular through the
      improvement of the business environment that is essential for attracting and retaining foreign direct


71.   REAFFIRM the Monterrey commitments on the reform of the international financial architecture in the
      framework of the ongoing restructuring of the UN;

72.   REITERATE the importance of securing reforms of the international financial architecture for an
      effective voice and participation of developing countries in the decision-making processes of the World
      Bank and the IMF, and for the full implementation of the Monterrey Consensus with the view to
      creating stability, reducing the risk of economic and financial crisis, and enhancing the capacity of
      developing countries to respond to such crises;

73.   REITERATE our commitment to enhance the coherence and consistency of the international monetary,
      financial and trading systems;

                MONTERREY+5 REVIEW

74.   REAFFIRM our commitment to fully participate in the review of the progress in the implementation of
      the Monterrey consensus;

75.   URGE the UN General Assembly to agree on the full modalities for this review at its 61st session and
      the review process should be carried out within the agreed Monterrey+5 years;

76.   URGE the UN General Assembly to agree on the content of the review which should cover progress
      made, identify obstacles and constraints encountered, actions and initiatives to overcome them, and
      important measures for further implementation, as well as new challenges and emerging issues;

77.   AGREE to meet at the ACP Ministerial level to coordinate our positions on all subjects during the
      preparatory process of the Monterrey+5 review;


78.   REAFFIRM our commitment to closely monitor the implementation of measures to achieve the MDGs
      by 2015 and the full implementation of the Monterrey commitments;

79.   FURTHER REAFFIRM our primary responsibility to the development of our countries and to
      enhancing national ownership of development programmes with the view to achieving each of the

80.   FURTHER REAFFIRM OUR COMMITMENT to better exploit and take advantage of the
      opportunities offered by the international cooperation arrangements;
81.   FURTHER REAFFIRM OUR COMMITMENT to enhance the synergy of our actions and initiatives
      to advance our common interests;
82.   EXPRESS our commitment to work with all development partners and the expertise of the ACP-EU
      institutions such as the Centre for Development of Entreprises (CDE) and the Technical Centre for
      Agricultural and Rural Cooperation CTA), with a view to achieving the MDGs in the ACP countries by
      2015; and to meet regularly with the view to enhancing our consultations and collective responses to
      bilateral and global socio-economic and financial issues and initiatives;
83.   CALL for establishment of a mechanism to facilitate the exchange of views between the ACP
      Committee of Ambassadors, the ACP Secretariat, and the Executive Directors representing ACP States
      at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and the Staff of the two institutions on issues of
      common interest pertaining to ACP-EU cooperation;
84.   CALL on the ACP Committee of Ambassadors to make recommendations to the ACP Council at its
      84th Session on the possibility of setting up an ACP-EU Aid-for-Trade facility and, in this respect,
      examine the possibility of reallocating resources for this facility made available in the context of de-
      committing of projects under the end of term review of the 9th EDF;
85.   MANDATE the Secretary-General of the ACP Group to coordinate and facilitate our meetings on a
      regular basis and our participation in the relevant global fora;
86.   REQUEST the President of the 3rd Meting of ACP Ministers of Finance and Economic Affairs to
      forward this Declaration to the Chairman of the G-8 Countries, the Leaders of the G-8 Member States,
      the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Council, EU Member States,
      the President of the European Parliament, Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly,
      the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the World Bank, the Managing Director of
      the IMF, the President of the African Development Bank, the President of the Inter-American
      Development Bank, the President of the Asian Development Bank, the President of the Caribbean
      Development Bank, the President of the Commission of the African Union, and the Heads of the ACP
      Regional Economic Integration Organisations.

                                         Brussels, 28 April 2006



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