Brussels, 23 February 2012/ ACP: Major players are on the move with preparations for the 7th ACP Heads of State Summit scheduled for December 2012.

Last week the Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group) Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas met with the President of Equatorial Guinea, H.E Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in Bata for preliminary talks on the conference – the first of its kind in four years for the 79 member ACP Group.

The visit culminated with the signing of a host country agreement between the ACP Secretariat and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to facilitate a full week of deliberations amongst ACP leaders from the 10th to 14th December.

Up for discussions are the ongoing implications of the global economic and financial crisis on ACP countries; South-South cooperation and the development of ACP links with emerging nations such as China, India and Brazil; intra-ACP cooperation and some pertinent commercial aspects of ACP-EU relations.

Discussions on the future perspectives of the ACP Group in a changing world are also a priority on the summit agenda. A task force has been set up to spearhead preparations for thekey meeting.

“From a technical point of view, everything is running smoothly so far. We have inspected and reviewed accommodation facilities, conference facilities, installation requirements and these are all in excellent condition. Both the government of Equatorial Guinea and the ACP group are committed to the success of the event – now, it is a matter of organising,” reported the Head of Conference Services at the ACP Secretariat, Mr Olivier Pinzi, who had accompanied Dr Chambas on the mission.

Earlier this year, the ACP Secretary General declared 2012 to be a “year of restoration” for the Secretariat, underlining plans to enhance the ACP as a “forward-looking international organisation.”

The first ACP Heads of State Summit was held in 1997 in Libreville, Gabon and has normally been held every two years, with each of the six ACP regions taking turns as host. The last summit was in Accra, Ghana in 2008.

(Pictured: ACP Secretary General H.E Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas and president of Equatorial Guinea H.E Teodoro Obiang Nguema)

– ACP Press