The Open UniversitySkip to content

Unorthodox Human Rights Instruments: The ACP-EU Development Cooperation From the Lomé Conventions to the Cotonou Agreement

Voiculescu, Aurora (2006). Unorthodox Human Rights Instruments: The ACP-EU Development Cooperation From the Lomé Conventions to the Cotonou Agreement. Journal of Commonwealth Law and Legal Education, 4(1) pp. 85–102.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


The Cotonou Agreement between the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the European Union (EU) has received much attention in the past years. Most of the time, this attention focuses on the economic dimensions of the Agreement, while forgetting that the co-operation partnerships that the Agreement generates are meant to be centred on human rights and human development rather than on economic development per se. This article evaluates the human rights potential of the Cotonou Agreement and of the development co-operation policies initiated between the ACP countries and the EU under this agreement. First, the article looks at the EU regulatory framework and the place of the Lomé Conventions in the human rights and trade debate, as well as in the generation of the Cotonou Agreement. Next, the article presents those elements of the Cotonou Agreement that reveal a potential for enhanced human rights realisation in the ACP countries. Through the Cotonou Agreement the participation and integration of the ACP countries in the global market economy is not only 'footnoted' with human rights rhetoric, but also infused with human rights principles and human development standards. Last, the shortcomings inherent in the Agreement are identified and assessed, and the implications of these shortcomings for the realisation of human rights and development are highlighted in the conclusions.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 1476-0401
Keywords: human rights; Cotonou Agreement; ACP-EU development co-operation; Economic Partnership Agreements; trade and human rights
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 9334
Depositing User: Aurora Voiculescu
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 02 May 2018 12:48
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU