The Federal government and Republic of Tunisia have resolved to strengthen political and socio-economic relations and cooperation and as well form synergy on the fight against terrorism, violent extremism and promotion of sustainable development in the African continent.
In a communiqué issued at the end of The Fifth Session of the Nigeria-Tunisia Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) held in Abuja-Nigeria, both countries agreed to intensify bilateral engagements, specifically in the Political, Defence and Security, Social and Economic fields as well as Consular Relations.
The session, co-chaired by Nigeria’s minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and Khemaises Jhemaies Jhinaoui, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia, was preceded by a Meeting of Experts and Senior Officials to finalise discussions on the mutually agreed areas of cooperation.
At the end of the meeting, The JMC reaffirmed its commitment to renewed partnership and strengthen the long-standing political and socio-economic relations and cooperation, based on shared principles of friendship, alliance building and sovereign equality. It was noted that the JMC will continue to provide the most effective institutional mechanism to catalyse action towards realizing the common goals of mutually beneficial bilateral relationship.
“The two sides agreed to intensify bilateral engagements, specifically in the Political, Defence and Security, Social and Economic fields as well as Consular Relations. To this effect, the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs signed, on behalf of their governments, six (6) Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs)/Agreements as follows:
“Agreement in the field of Consumer Protection; Memorandum of Understanding in the Field of Social Affairs; Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Cooperation and Exchanges; Memorandum of Understanding in the Energy Sector; Agreement on Youth Development and Agreement on Trade Cooperation”
Both countries also explored strategies to consolidate cooperation in Social Affairs, Cultural Cooperation, Youth Development, Agriculture, Energy sector, Consumer protection, Trade Cooperation and Visa Waiver for diplomatic and official passport holders. It was also agreed that both countries would continue to pursue beneficial relations in other areas such as Maritime Transport, Air Services, Tourism, Vocational Training, Employment including Conformity in Standards of Products.
Other areas include Technical Cooperation, Handicrafts, Industrialization and Trade, capacity building, Diplomatic Training, Defence, Education and Cultural exchanges Health, Investment Promotion, Science and Technology, Information, Communication and Media and Political Consultations.
The Joint Ministerial Commission took cognisance of the importance of knowledge sharing and experiences as a condition of promoting vibrant economic relations driven by mutual trade interests and investment exchanges through stronger private sector engagements.
“The two sides agreed to increase the level of cooperation in programmes dealing with Youth Empowerment, Social Investments, Promotion and Protection of Investments, Tourism, Educational Training as well as Inter-Agency collaborations.
“The Session highlighted the advantages of promoting people-to-people and business contacts as a joint strategy to accelerate inclusive growth and sustainable development in their respective countries. The two countries pledged to encourage and support the full functioning of the bilateral Chambers of Commerce and mutual participation in trade fairs and exhibitions.”
Both Ministers utilized the JMC Session to review the current situations in their respective regions, Africa and globally.
“They agreed to work together by engaging in regular political consultations at Ministerial and Senior Officials’ level and with like-minded African countries. The Joint Ministerial Commission further pointed out the overriding need for a more robust, and active role for Africa in the evolving global order. This is to help towards the attainment of the African Union vision and mission as enshrined in Agenda 2063.
“Having acknowledged Tunisian membership of the AU and the key roles Nigeria, as a long-standing member of the African Union Peace and Security Council (AU-PSC), the two Ministers pledged the continued commitment of their countries to the fight against terrorism, violent extremism and promotion of conflict prevention and resolution on the African continent.”
The Ministers underlined the complementarities between the AU Agenda 2063 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and agreed to scale up collaboration and consultation to collectively achieve the common vision towards fostering multilateral cooperation in a rapidly changing world.
The sixth Session of the JMC is scheduled to hold in Tunisia within the first half of 2019.