Brussels, 28 February 2020/ACP: The Committee of Ambassadors (CoA) of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States will today bid farewell to Secretary-General H.E. Dr. Patrick Ignatius Gomes as he demits office at the end of his five-year mandate which began on 1 March 2015.

The Senior Management Team, which comprises the Assistant Secretaries-General and the Chef de Cabinet will also demit office.

Secretary-General Gomes, previously Ambassador of the Republic of Guyana, represented the Caribbean region in the rotational system by which the Secretary General of the ACP Group is selected every five years. He took the reins of the ACP at a crucial time in the history of the ACP Group of States, which included most notably, the winding down of the 20-year Cotonou Agreement and the subsequent activities related to the ongoing Post-Cotonou negotiations. Another very notable feature of the SG’s tenure was the revision of the ACP’s Constitutive Act, the Georgetown Agreement, which was endorsed at the 9th ACP Summit of Heads of State and Government in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2019. The revised Agreement will come into force as soon as it has been signed by the requisite number of ACP Member States.

During his Inaugural address to the CoA, the then incoming Secretary General pledged to facilitate “diversified partnerships across the Global South by 2020.” In this regard, he looks back on the the signing of the Headquarters Agreement for the ACP Information Centre for South-South and Triangular Cooperation – the first such Centre to be established in an ACP region – in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in 2019, and ongoing partnerships with non-traditional partners such as India and Peru, who were both present at the recent Symposium on South-South and Triangular Cooperation which was held at the ACP Secretariat.

Key to creating “the ACP We Want”, as per the Sipopo Declaration following the 8th Summit of ACP Heads of State, was the creation of a Fund to ensure the long term financial sustainability of the ACP Group. This Fund, the ACP Endowment Trust Fund (ETF), was officially launched by ACP Heads of State at the 9th Summit. Following the meeting of the Ambassadorial Task Force in February 2020, plans for the operationalization of the Fund will soon be rolled out.

The incoming Secretary-General, H.E. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Angola to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and Head of Mission to the European Union will assume office on March 1 2020.

Photo: SG Gomes (left) accepting the symbolic gift from the Chair of the Committee of Ambassadors, H.E. Teneng Mba Jaiteh (right).

See the photos from the Special Committee of Ambassadors Meeting for the outgoing SG

Secretary General’s Address to the Special Committee of Ambassadors

Video of the Special Committee of Ambassadors for the Outgoing Secretary General

Presentation by the Caribbean Region

Presentation by the Central African Region (FR)

Presentation by East African Region

Presentation by the Pacific Region

Presentation by the Southern African Region