Statement of the Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, Secretary-General of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) on the 3rd anniversary of the OACPS on 5 April 2023
On this day, the 5th of April, the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) celebrates its 3rd anniversary as the OACPS. Following the ratification of the constituent act, the Georgetown Agreement as amended in 2019, the then ACP Group of States became the OACPS on 05 April 2020. The OACPS is a fully-fledged international organisation, representing 79 member states and covering three continents with a combined population of 1,3 billion people. The main objectives of the OACPS are, inter alia, the promotion of inclusive multilateralism, support for a rights based global order, and securing partnerships for growth and sustainable development.
For the next year, the theme of the OACPS will be, “A resilient, engaging and innovative OACPS”. This theme will be the focus of my annual State of the Organisation (SoRG) address that I will deliver this year on the anniversary of OACPS Foundation Day, which will be celebrated on the 6th of June 2023.
Since the inception of the OACPS, and as it is our 3rd anniversary today, let me highlight 3 major achievements, which are the following:
-Concluding the negotiations for and initialing the New Partnership Agreement with the European Union;
-Convening of a successful 10th Summit of OACPS Heads of State and Government, held in Luanda, Republic of Angola in 2022, the adoption of the Luanda Declaration, and the start of the tenure of the President of the Republic of Angola, H.E. Mr. João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, as the President of the OACPS Summit; and
-Providing support for the successful campaign of one of our Member States, Vanuatu, for a
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution requesting an International Court of Justice Advisory Opinion on Climate Change.
At the 10th Summit, OACPS Leaders reaffirmed our unity and solidarity, and reconfirmed the OACPS’ commitment to the attainment of the SDGs and the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
As we go forward, addressing interconnected challenges in a very fragmented world, the OACPS will focus on several key priorities over the next year. Within the context of major geo-political challenges, and post-Covid/war impacts, the Organisation is looking forward to the imminent signing of the New OACPS-EU Partnership Agreement. This Agreement will provide great impetus to the existing partnership and allow for enhanced cooperation on the international scene.
Climate change requires urgent, significant, and transformational action by all. The OACPS will continue to explore opportunities to manage the risks associated with climate change while improving the lives and futures of our citizens. The various COP meetings provided some optimism, especially the agreement that was reached on the “loss and damage” funding for vulnerable countries hit hard by climate disasters.
The OACPS will contribute to building South-South, North-South and Triangular cooperation opportunities to unlock mutually beneficial opportunities for increased trade, investment and infrastructure development. In this endeavor, the role and involvement of the private sector across all sectors, is crucial.
The OACPS will also look at strengthening post-pandemic socio-economic recovery and focus on pandemic preparedness.
As an Organisation, the OACPS will make contributions to seek real reform of global governance institutions, including the global financial system. Equitable and fair debt relief opportunities and concessional financing to developing states are needed, and will go a long way to address systemic inequalities that are amplifying societal inequalities.
The global economic outlook is bleak. Many parts of the world might face recession, and a global slowdown of economic activity. In all of this, deepening inequalities and the
unfolding cost-of-living crisis – affecting women, girls and young people the most, need to be addressed. In this, the OACPS is committed to take up its obligations.
In conclusion, much work lies ahead. Let me thank Leaders, Member States and Regions for the contributions to the OACPS, for the commitment to build the OACPS, and indeed for making it stronger and more relevant every year.
Together, as 79 members, we are stronger!