Brussels, 8 March 2016: The Draft Agenda for the upcoming ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers, scheduled for the 28-29 April in Dakar, Senegal has been endorsed by Member State representatives from the European Union as well as the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group.

The Joint Council of Ministers is the highest decision-making body of the ACP-EU Partnership, which brings together 28 Member States of the European Union and 78 from Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific, under a legally-binding framework outlining parameters for trade, political dialogue and development cooperation between the two groups of countries.

At a meeting of the ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors on Friday 4th March, members agreed that the 2030 global development framework will have a significant bearing on future cooperation.

The ACP Group is of the view that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), constitutes a comprehensive approach that aims to achieve sustainable development for our Member States. It is important that concrete measures be taken to align our priorities, and better position ourselves to implement the 2030 Agenda successfully,” stated the Co-President of the ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors, H.E. Roger-Julien Menga, Ambassador of the Republic of Congo.

The European Union is absolutely committed to continue to play a full, active and constructive role in the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, in cooperation with all partners and stakeholders. It is very important to ensure that the ACP-EU Partnership be brought in line with the Sustainable Development Goals,” stated Co-President H.E Pieter de Gooijer, Ambassador of the Netherlands.

In addition to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement on climate change, adopted in December 2015 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21 will be a major point on the agenda.

Migration, development finance, private sector development and trade cooperation are other areas that feature prominently on the programme, including the state of play of the negotiations and implementation of the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), as well as the follow up from the 10th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) held in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2015.

The Joint Council of Ministers will also look at EU’s global strategy on foreign and security policy, and Ministers will receive an update on the preparations for the 8th Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government, scheduled in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea from 30 May – 1 June this year.

Finally, the meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss the future of ACP-EU relations after 2020, when the current partnership agreement comes to a close. While their historic cooperation dates back several decades, both EU and ACP sides are currently undergoing in-depth reflections on how to frame the future, in light of key changes in the global environment.

The 41st session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers will be a very significant event for the ACP Group, given the urgent and serious nature of some of the topics to our Member States. I am pleased that today’s meeting with the European representatives allowed for thorough and efficient discussions, and we look forward to a successful meeting in Dakar next month,” concluded ACP Secretary General H.E. Dr. Patrick Gomes.

The meeting of the ACP-EU joint Council of Ministers on 28-29 April will be preceded by the 103rd session of the ACP Council of Ministers meeting from 25-27 April 2016.

(Photo: ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors meeting on 4th March 2016, Brussels.)

For more information, contact:

Ms. Josephine Latu-Sanft
Press Officer – ACP Secretariat
Ave. Georges Henri 451, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
+32 2 7430617