It is with great pride and enthusiasm that we celebrate the legacy of our esteemed organization, the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS).

Born from the spirit of unity and cooperation, the OACPS, formerly known as the ACP Group of States, was established in 1975 through the Georgetown Agreement.

When our forebears outlined a set of objectives, including the promotion of closer trade and economic relations, and ensuring effective regional and inter-regional co-operation. The over-arching aim was to help realise a “new international economic order”, in which we would be neither victims nor pawns. They believed that the strength of this Organisation would be determined not just by its numbers, but, more significantly, by the quality of its attachment to these objectives.

Our journey has been one of transformation and growth, culminating in our official renaming in 2019 as the Organization of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States.

It is now a beacon of collaboration, uniting countries from three diverse regions—Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific that champions sustainable inclusive development, for the betterment of all the citizens of our member states.

In the age of intense geopolitical competition, the OACPS stands out as the model for international cooperation and solidarity. The OACPS has set its footprint on the global space as a catalyst for progress striving to address the multifaceted challenges our nations face, from economic disparities to environmental vulnerabilities. We recognize that true prosperity encompasses not only financial growth but also social well-being and ecological balance.

Our commitment to empowering our member states on the global stage is unwavering. We advocate fair trade practices, facilitate investment opportunities, and encourage economic cooperation that uplifts the livelihoods of our people.

Unity is our strength. We foster dialogue, cooperation, and joint action among our diverse members, recognizing that our collective voice amplifies our impact. We work tirelessly to build bridges of understanding and forge common ground knowing that together, we can achieve far more than we ever could alone.

Peace, security, and stability are the cornerstones upon which development thrives. We are steadfast in our support for democratic governance, the rule of law, and the protection of human rights within our member states. We believe that by nurturing these principles, we create an environment where every citizen can flourish. In this regard, the OACPS is now engaged in supporting the peace process in Haiti, encouraging the international community to support stabilization efforts in Haiti.

The OACPS also sits in the International Security Assistance Coordination Group for Haiti (ISACG) that seeks to contribute more directly to the stabilization efforts alongside global partners such as the European Union.

We recognize the immense potential of our youth and women. Their active participation is not only a fundamental right but also a driving force for innovation and progress. We are dedicated to empowering them to take their rightful place as leaders and change makers in our societies. To mark this day, the OACPS is currently hosting a conference in Rwanda on women economic empowerment with exchange of best practice on making business environment reforms that work for women in the ACP regions

Our achievements are a testament to the power of collaboration. We have stood together in the face of global challenges, from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the urgent threat of climate change. We have advocated resilience, mitigation, and adaptation strategies, particularly for our most vulnerable member states.

Our partnership with the European Union, formalized through the Lome and Cotonou Agreements of yester years and recently the Samoa Agreement, exemplifies our commitment to building mutually beneficial relationships. This collaboration extends beyond governments, engaging civil society, the private sector, and local communities in a truly inclusive approach.

We recognize the unique vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and landlocked developing countries. We are dedicated to addressing their specific challenges, from climate change resilience to economic diversification and environmental conservation. We strive, through fruitful interactions, to help our member states make the best use of their natural and human resources.

As we look to the future, our vision is ambitious yet achievable. We are determined to harness the power of digital transformation, ensuring that our member states are not left behind in the digital revolution. We will explore the sustainable utilization of critical minerals to fuel economic growth and technological advancement. And we will continue to celebrate our rich cultural diversity, fostering dialogue and understanding among our people.

I acknowledge, thank and congratulate our Ambassadors in Brussels and the leadership in OACPS capitals for their immense contribution to our success. But I also encourage them to enhance their engagement and support to enable the OACPS to surmount the current and emerging global challenges.

I extend my deepest gratitude to the dedicated staff of the OACPS Secretariat, whose tireless efforts bring our decisions to life. Their commitment and expertise are invaluable to our success. We are also grateful for the unwavering support of our partners, in particular the European Union, stakeholders and friends, who share our vision and work alongside us to achieve our shared goals.

Today, on ACP Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to unity, solidarity, and progress. Let us celebrate our achievements and embrace the challenges that lie ahead. Together, we will continue to make a positive and lasting impact on the world stage.

Thank You