Brussels, 16 February 2016/ ACP: The Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States H.E Dr. Patrick Gomes will facilitate a discussion with Caribbean leaders, as they convene this week in Belize on 16-17 February for the 27th intersessional meeting of the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government.
The discussion will focus on the future of the ACP Group of States, which comprises of 79 Member States, including 48 from Sub-Saharan Africa, 16 from the Caribbean, and 15 from the Pacific region, united in the aim of achieving poverty eradication and sustainable development for their peoples.
Currently, the ACP Group is undergoing a process of reflection and review, as it moves to reposition itself as a more relevant global player in the post-2015 era. The discussion is especially important as the longstanding agreement between the ACP countries and the European Union, known as the Cotonou Partnership, is set to conclude in 2020. The outlooks for a future partnership between the ACP as a group and the EU are currently under review.
“Attending this meeting in Belize would really be an opportunity to listen to what are the goals, what are the concerns of Caribbean Heads of State and Government, and how the region as itself would like to see ACP playing a more effective role,” stated the Secretary General.
The Secretary General will also take the opportunity to encourage leaders to attend the 8th ACP Summit of Heads of State and Government, scheduled for the 31st May to 1st June 2016, in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The theme of the 8th ACP Summit is: Repositioning the ACP Group to respond to the challenges of sustainable development.
The Secretary General stressed that the timing of the Summit will bring to the fore key issues related to global governance, peace and security and the recently-adopted Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
The 8th Summit will also hear recommendations made by the ACP Eminent Persons Group on how to reform the organisation and reorient it to become more effective in the international arena.