First Look

Minister Johnson Smith emphasises need for reform at 8th ACP Summit



Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade | 2016-06-03 00:00:00

“The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group must re-evaluate and adapt its role in order to maintain its relevance and effectiveness”. So said Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade  in an address to Heads of State and Government as well as Ministers and other delegates attending the 8th ACP Summit from 30th May - 1st June 2016  in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Minister Johnson Smith led a three-member delegation to the Summit which was hosted by the Pacific island nation, under the theme, “Repositioning the ACP Group to respond to the challenges of sustainable development”.

The Summit was held at a defining moment in the history of the ACP, particularly as the Group is seeking to take critical decisions in relation to its future and its engagement with the European Union after 2020 when the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement expires. The Summit therefore provided an opportunity for the ACP to reflect on its evolution as the largest and most diverse group of developing and least developed countries, as well as the future prospects for development cooperation and political dialogue with the EU and other international partners.

Speaking on behalf of the Caribbean during an exchange of views on the sub-theme of, “enhancing the role of the ACP Group in global governance for development”, Minister Johnson Smith exhorted the ACP to “continue to vigorously work to promote change in the structure, composition and working methods of major institutions of multilateralism and global governance, to take fully into account the varied geopolitical, demographic and economic challenges faced by developing countries”.

The Minister also emphasised that in going forward, the ACP  must prioritise Agenda 2030 and the sustainable development goals of the United Nations as well as “adaptation to and mitigation of the effects of climate change, renewable energy and energy efficiency, vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States and structural challenges facing Middle Income countries,” among other important issues.

The Summit also benefited from the formal presentation of the Final Report of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) which was established in 2013 to widen and deepen reflections on the future of the ACP Group, among other things.

At the conclusion of its work, the Summit adopted the Port Moresby Declaration and issued the Waigani Communique on the Future Perspectives of the ACP Group.

The ACP Group comprises 79 developing and least developed countries from the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions. It was established by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. The Group seeks to promote the principles of unity and solidarity as well as the sustainable development of its members.

An ACP Summit is normally held once every four years.




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