Political dialogue under the 2000 Cotonou : addressing the gaps in the right to freedom of expression and assembly in Uganda
Musiime, Alex Martin
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The African, Caribbean and Pacific and European Union (ACP-EU) partnership, was welcomed with much expectation in the area of Human Rights. This expectation was fortified with the promulgation of the Cotonou Agreement of 2000, which introduced the concept of Political dialogue. The commitment to political dialogue in this instrument was an innovation from previous agreements that not only paid scant regard to human rights but also followed a top to the bottom structure of enhancing development, where ACP states had little autonomy in shaping their path to democracy and governance issues. However, despite the existence of the Cotonou Agreement, the freedoms of Expression and Assembly—key components of the democratization process—have been subjected to significant abuse in many ACP states, Uganda in particular. This paper seeks to demystify the EU-Uganda political dialogue under the ACP, the powers that shape it, its impact on the body of human rights, and its future post-2020 upon the expiry of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement.