The Council of Ministers is the OACPS’ main decision-making body. It is the supreme body responsible for implementing the guidelines laid down by the Summit. Ministerial sectoral meetings are held regularly, namely, Meeting of Trade Ministers, Meeting of Ministers of Culture. The Council is composed of a member of Government from each Member of the OACPS or a government-designated representative. It outlines the terms and conditions for implementing the OACPS’ objectives as set out in its general policy, and periodically checks to see whether these objectives have been attained.
The Council meets twice annually in ordinary sessions. It may also meet, when necessary, in special session, on the advice of the President, after consultation with all the members of the Bureau.
The Council of Ministers elects its Bureau – headed by a President – at the end of each of its ordinary sessions. A system of rotation has been established to ensure that representatives from the six ACP regions have the opportunity to preside over the Council.
The Bureau is composed of nine members:
The acts of the Council of Ministers may take the form of decisions, resolutions or recommendations.
The Council of Ministers convenes meetings of Ministers responsible for different areas included among the Group´s objectives.
Ministerial Trade Committee (MTC)
The Ministerial Trade Committee is a task force of Trade Ministers (a total of 18, three per region) responsible for conducting, coordinating and monitoring certain trade negotiations.
Meeting of Ministers of Culture
The first meeting of ACP Ministers of Culture took place in Dakar (Senegal) in May 2003. At the end of the meeting, a declaration and plan of action were adopted with the primary aim of implementing a development strategy based on culture and cultural industries, as expressed by the (then), Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government. The process of setting up an ACP Cultural Foundation was also begun and Haiti selected as the venue for the 1st ACP Cultural Festival scheduled for summer 2004.
Dakar Plan of Action for the promotion of ACP cultures and cultural industries
Meeting of National and Regional Authorising Officers
These meetings are attended mainly by Ministers in charge of cooperation with the European Union.
Other meetings: Ministers of the Environment, Education, Science, etc.