Brussels, 31 March 2015/ ACP: Recently appointed ambassadors of the Central African Republic, Cuba and the Seychelles to the European Union were formally presented to the ACP Committee of Ambassadors – one of the key governing organs of the 79-member African, Caribbean and Pacific Group, based in Brussels.

H.E Mr. Daniel Emery Dede (Central African Republic), H.E Mrs. Norma Goicochea Estenoz (Cuba) and H.E Mr. Selby Pillay (Seychelles) delivered their maiden addresses to the diplomatic body, and pledged their countries’ support to the work of the ACP Group towards eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable development in member states.

Ambassador Estenoz reiterated the “need to strengthen the relationship between ACP member states to address challenges that go beyond our borders,” citing culture, trade, environmental South cooperation as areas of collaboration.

Ambassador Estenoz, who was previously posted as the Cuban representative in Vienna, Austria, also welcomed the report of the Ambassadorial Working Group on Future Perspectives of the ACP Group, which calls for various reforms in the institution, in order to better address post-2015 development challenges.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Pillay of the Seychelles focused on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and climate change, stating: “Seychelles considers the ACP Group as a capable ally for defending the SIDS interest. This is why we call on all ACP member states to play their fair share in making certain that the adoption of a vulnerability index as recommended in Samoa is brought to light.”

Ambassador Pillay, a career diplomat and former Director General of Multilateral Affairs at the Seychelles Ministry of Foreign Affairs, advocated the importance of the ‘blue economy’ and the potential of the ocean to “foster innovation” in the economic development of coastal nations.

Finally, Ambassador Dede, a politician and former minister of the Central African Republic, affirmed his continued contribution to the implementation of the outcomes of the reflections on the future of the ACP Group after 2020, as well as efforts to strengthen the organisation.

The new members were received warmly by the Dean of the Committee of Ambassadors, H.E Mr. Hanno Rumpf of Namibia as well as the Chair in Office of the Committee, H.E. Mr. Roy Mickey Joy of Vanuatu, who committed the full support and solidarity of the group for the duration of their terms in Brussels.

(Photo: Ambassadors Norma Goicochea Estenoz (Cuba), Selby Pillay (Seychelles) and Daniel Emery Dede (Central African Republic)

– ACP Press