Brussels, 19 February 2021/OACPS: H.E. Dr Jesse Jean of the Republic of Haiti and H.E. Ms Tokozile Xasa of the Republic of South Africa, were yesterday presented virtually to the 935th Session of the Committee of Ambassadors (CoA) of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) by Secretary-General, H.E. Mr Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti.

Ambassador Dr Jesse Jean

An academic and a statesman, Ambassador Jean has been a post-doctoral research fellow at the Doctoral School of Cultures and Societies, in Paris. Since 2018, he has also been a member of the Monitoring Committee of Haiti’s 2023 State Modernization Programme.

Author of several scientific publications in the field of Education, innovation and learning, H.E. Jean has in the course of his career championed education and development, during postings such as Special Adviser in the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship; Independent Expert Consultant on development projects and as consultant and specialist in charge of the Education for All (EFA) project with the World Bank.

During his presentation to the CoA, Ambassador Jean evoked the need to stay the course, “to work together again to revitalize our economies and, if possible, repair the economic and financial losses of last year.”

He congratulated all the institutions involved and his colleagues, on being able to conclude the Negotiations for the new Partnership Agreement, despite the difficulties of the past year, cautioning, however, that “the implementation will require the same level of commitment and courage, I hasten to say that we will have to fortify ourselves with the determination, accuracy, vitality and solidarity that have historically forged the ties and interactions towards a common ideal: that of putting oneself at the service and well-being of our Member States.”

Referring to the constitutional reforms within Haiti, H.E. Jean, on behalf of the Haitian Government, called on all members of the OACPS for their support of the reforms, “which will ensure better efficiency of the national institutions”.

Ambassador Ms Tokozile Xasa

The second ambassador to be presented, H.E. Ms. Tokozile Xasa, of the Republic of South Africa, is also an educator by profession. A dynamic and astute leader and activist, Ambassador Xasa brings with her decades of leadership of women’s issues and is also a passionate advocate of community development and education.

Ambassador Xasa held the position of Provincial Treasurer of the African National Congress (ANC) for two terms and is currently a Member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC, having also served as ANC Member of the Provincial Legislature and in various Portfolio Committees.

A former Member of Council (MEC) for Social Development, Housing, Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Ambassador Xasa has also served as Deputy Minister of Tourism, Minister of Tourism as well as Minister of Sport and Recreation.

During her inaugural address, Ambassador Xasa, reasserted her country’s dedication to the OACPS, “South Africa’s commitment to the vision, mission and objectives of the ACP Group of States has never wavered. Twenty-four years later, our pledge towards the sustainable development of all OACPS Member States remains steadfast.” While congratulating all parties for their accomplishments with respect to the new Partnership Agreement, the new Ambassador also spoke of what she hoped to see in the new Agreement and touched on key issues for the OACPS as it continues its restructuring to becoming a fit-for-purpose organization.

Speaking of the COVID-19 pandemic, H.E. Xasa outlined South Africa’s actions with respect to combating the virus both nationally and regionally. Noting, in addition, South Africa’s unique position, straddling membership across the OACPS, BRICS and G20, she indicated that it would, “continue to drive the development agenda of the South with specific emphasis on an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Dean of the OACPS Committee of Ambassadors, H.E. Mr Daniel Evina Abe’e of Cameroon, as well as the other members of the Committee extended the usual warm welcome to the new members and offered their full support as well as that of their embassies.