The African, Caribbean, and Pacific states that are associated with the European Union through the Cotonou Agreement of 2000. The Agreement, which covers such issues as foreign aid, trade, investment, human rights, and governance, succeeded the Lomé Convention, which had not addressed human rights and governance issues. There are 79 signatories (2009 figures). The Agreement replaced unilateral trade preferences that the EU had with the ACP countries under the Lomé Convention with economic partnership agreements involving reciprocal obligations. The aim is free access to markets between the EU and ACP countries. The Agreement also provides for the ACP least-developed countries (LDCs) to be treated differently from ACP non-LDCs.