Brussels, 24 March 2022/OACPS : As the Southern African presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) handed over to that of the Central African region, H.E. Dr Daniel Emery Dede, Ambassador ofthe Central African Republic assumed leadership of the OACPS Committee of Ambassadors for the period of February 1 to July 31 2022.
Ambassador Dede, a politician and former minister of the Central African Republic, was presented to the OACPS Committee of Ambassadors (CoA) in March 2015 and has been an active member of the CoA.

The Press Office of the OACPS interviewed the new Chair on his views and expectations of the next months of his tenure.

OACPS Press: Mr Ambassador, on 1 February 2022, you started your mandate as Chairman of the OACPS Committee of Ambassadors. What are the priorities of your presidency?

Ambassador Dede: The following activities will constitute the priorities of my term:

  • The signing of the SAMOA Agreement – this is the new post-Cotonou Agreement whose signing was first delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic and now by the war in Ukraine.

  • The holding of the 114th Session of the OACPS Council of Ministers to be held before the summer break of 2022.

  • Navigating the return to normal through the post-Covid-19 period. OACPS activities are moving towards normalisation with the easing of anti-Covid measures. For the first time in two years the 60th session of the OACPS Parliamentary Assembly and the 41st session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (the last under the Cotonou Agreement) will be held physically in Strasbourg-France from 29 March to 4 April 2022.

OACPS Press: As a long-standing member of the Committee of Ambassadors, what do you see as the main challenges and opportunities of your presidency?

Ambassador Dede: The main challenges are the serious crises in the world and in particular the one in Ukraine which is mobilising so much energy and resources at the expense of development programmes in the Members of the OACPS.

The main assets are the richness of the OACPS‘s natural resources and the youth of its population. The OACPS is, in terms of number of countries, the second largest organisation after the United Nations. This is an undeniable asset.

OACPS Press: You are taking over the presidency at a very interesting time, as it is quite possible that the new Partnership Agreement will be signed during the Central African presidency of the Committee of Ambassadors, do you have any particular comments or perspectives on leading the OACPS at such a historic moment?

Ambassador Dede: It is exhilarating! That’s why all my energy is going towards the rapid completion of the signing of this Agreement. The entire Committee of Ambassadors is mobilised for this.

OACPS Press: The OACPS Member States are currently facing several challenges, namely: the implementation of immunisation policies for their citizens, as many OACPS members are well below the average immunisation rates; environmental risks, namely bad weather, which further endangers our countries; and financial difficulties, which are exacerbated by the previous two points. Over the next few months, are there any particular strategies or approaches you would advocate to address these important issues?

Ambassador Dede: In the area of Covid vaccines in particular, it is important that production plants can be set up in OACPS states and that intellectual property (property rights) be removed to facilitate widespread production of vaccines at affordable costs for our states.

The fight against climate change is a top priority for the OACPS. This is the reason for the creation of an Environment and Climate Action Department within the OACPS as Members of the OACPS are highly exposed to environmental risks and natural disasters.

The OACPS Press thanks Ambassador Daniel Emery DEDE and the members of his Mission for their kind assistance during the interview.