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10 Things To Know About The Samoa Agreement

SAMOA Agreement

THE controversial Samoa Agreement has become a topic of discussion for many Nigerians as they wonder what it entails since the news that Nigeria has signed.

On November 15, 2023, the European Union and member states came together to sign one new partnership agreement, which was referred to as the Samoa Agreement.

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The member states that signed the agreement are called the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, also known as OACPS.

About 27 member states from the EU signed the agreement and 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries came together to also sign the agreement.

A newspaper organisation (Not The PUNCH) had reported that the Samoa Agreement signed by the Nigerian Government contains clauses that mandate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender rights.

The newspaper’s report was premised on an opinion article by a Lagos-based lawyer, Sonnie Ekwowusi, that articles of the agreement systematically legalise LGBT.

However, PUNCH Online has reviewed the 172-page document and found out that the agreement does not contain LGBT clauses, as claimed by the lawyer.

A newspaper organisation (Not The PUNCH) had reported that the Samoa Agreement signed by the Nigerian Government contains clauses that mandate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender rights.

The newspaper’s report was premised on an opinion article by a Lagos-based lawyer, Sonnie Ekwowusi, that articles of the agreement systematically legalise LGBT.

However, PUNCH Online has reviewed the 172-page document and found out that the agreement does not contain LGBT clauses, as claimed by the lawyer.

According to the reviewed document and EU press statements, the Samoa agreement focused only on addressing global challenges.

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Nigerian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the European Union, Obinna Onowu, signing the agreement. (Photo: OACPS/X)

In a post via its official X page on June 28, 2024, the OACPS confirmed that Nigeria has joined other member states to sign the Samoa agreement.

The post reads, “Nigeria today signed the Samoa Agreement, joining 72 fellow members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS), in a pledge to enhance OACPS-EU relations international cooperation.

“Ambassador Obinna Chiedu Onowu represented his country to sign the Samoa Agreement at the OACPS Secretariat in Brussels. The majority of the 79 OACPS member states signed the agreement in Apia, Samoa, on November 15, 2023, which has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2024.

“The Samoa Agreement serves as a vital legal framework for cooperation between the OACPS and the European Union, with the aim of promoting sustainable development, fighting climate change and its effects, generating investment opportunities, and fostering increased collaboration among OACPS member states at the international stage.”

Below are quick facts about the Samoa Agreement

1. The Samoa Agreement is a partnership agreement and a vital legal framework for cooperation between the EU and its member states, on the one hand, and members of OACPS on the other.

2. The multilateral agreement is colloquially called the ‘Samoa Agreement’ because its signing took place on the Island of Samoa in Oceania during the 46th session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers.

3. The agreement, signed by Nigeria and other members of the OACPS, is based on six key priorities to tackle the main challenges in the member countries over the next two decades.

4. The Nigerian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the European Union, Obinna Onowu, signed the agreement on behalf of the Nigerian Government at the OACPS Secretariat in Brussels on June 28, 2024.

5. The priorities include human rights, democracy and governance; peace and security; human and social development; inclusive, sustainable economic growth and development; environmental sustainability and climate change; and mobility/migration.

6. An important principle of the agreement is that ‘’the Parties shall make decisions and undertake actions at the most appropriate domestic, regional or multi-country level’’.

7. No Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer clause in the agreement.

8. The EU and all its member states signed the agreement on November 15, 2023. Out of the 79 members of the OACPS, 74, including Nigeria, signed before the deadline of June 30, 2024.

9. The Samoa Agreement is a veritable instrument for Nigeria’s development cooperation with the EU beyond aid. The OACPS–EU Partnership is one of the most diverse and multifaceted development pacts in the international system.

10. The agreement is to be ratified after due consideration and approval by the Federal Executive Council, National Economic Council, and the National Assembly.

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Source; PUNCH Online

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