Brussels, 26 May 2015/ ACP: The Council of Ministers from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries opened its 101st session of today, reiterating the Group’s intention of being an effective global player, while contributing meaningfully, as a group, to the advancement of a balanced and robust post-2015 international agenda for development.
Opening the session, the President of the Council of Ministers, Hon. Meltek Sato Kilman Livtuvanu, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Vanuatu, emphasised the year 2015 as especially significant in marking the ACP Group’s 40th anniversary.
Quoting a statement made by the previous President of Council, Hon. Kilman Livtuvanu added that: “From the viewpoint of the poor and vulnerable, we are the moral majority. Not only do we count, but we must continue to make our voice count in the global arena if we are to transform the ACP Group of States into a truly effective global player.”
In this regard the 79 ACP countries preparing for strategic engagements in the Third International Conference on Financing for Development to be held in July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as well as the UN Summit on the Post-2015 Development Agenda to be held in New York in September. In December, the ACP Group plans to take consolidated positions at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, as well as the 10th ministerial conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Nairobi, Kenya in December.
8th Summit of Heads of State and Government
However, the most critical meeting for the ACP Member States would be the 8th Summit of Heads of States of Government.
“That Summit must be a beacon that refines our strategic policy domains for the next decade and project a powerful political vision to serve the ACP in our engagement with the European Union on the form and accompanying institutional arrangements to shape the post-Cotonou relations,” the ACP Secretary General Dr. Patrick I. Gomes told the Council meeting.
More importantly, the Summit would provide the strategic direction and financial commitment necessary to build the capacity of the Group to address the development needs of its populations.
The Secretary General invited member countries and regions to step forward to host the major political event, which was originally scheduled for November 2014 in Suriname (Caribbean region). The country later had to withdraw its offer due to multiple commitments.
Joint ACP-EU Council
The President of the Council, Hon. Kilman Livtuvanu outlined issues to discuss in preparations for the annual joint meeting of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, which includes representatives from EU member states and the European Commission this Thursday and Friday 28-29 May.
Discussions will focus on migration, the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in the regions, financing for development and the post-2015 development agenda.
In the lead-up, the ACP Council of Ministers is expected to make a declaration on migration issues, in light of the unacceptable loss of thousands of lives in the Mediterranean Sea as people try to cross over in boats from Northern African ports, in an attempt to reach Europe.
(Photo: The ACP Secretary General Dr. Patrick Gomes and President of the Council of MInister Hon. Sato Kilman (centre) at the opening ceremony of he 101st session of Council.)
For more information, contact ACP Press Officer Josephnine Latu-Sanft +32 2 7430617 or