Brussels, 30 September 2011: The ACP Group regrets the loss of two distinguished statesmen and one Nobel laureate from its family of nations who all passed away within days of each other last month.

National hero and former Prime Minister of Belize, Rt. Hon. George Price passed away 19 September at age 92. Rt Hon. Price is considered the founding father of Belize, having led the nation to independence from Britain three decades ago in September 1981. He served as Belize’s first Prime Minister from 1981-1984 and again in 1989-1993.

On 22 September, another pioneering leader, the H.E. Mr Aristides Maria Pereira of Cape Verder died at age 87. As the republic’s first post-independence head of state (1975-1991), he took the presidency after years of fighting against Portugese colonial rule.

Finally, Kenyan distinguished personality Professor Wangari Maathai passed away on 25 September at age 71, leaving a legacy of humanitarianism and environmental activism. Prof. Maathai, a former parliamentarian, was renowned globally for her work in the area of reforestation and environmental management and in her fight for the restoration of democracy in her country. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace”.

The ACP Group extends its sincere condolences to the three nations.

See Event: CINE-ONU Screening of 'Taking Root', a film based on the life of Prof. Wangari Maathai