Brussels, 11 June 2014: The 8th ACP Summit of Heads of State and Government is set to take place on 6-7 November in Paramaribo, Suriname under the theme “Repositioning the ACP Group to fulfill the aspirations of our Peoples.”

Leaders of 79 member countries from Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific regions are expected to address key development issues, especially in the context of the post-2015 agenda, covering areas such as human security, climate change, trade and private sector growth, and development finance.

Discussions on South-South and Intra-ACP cooperation are also on the agenda, as well as talks regarding the future orientation of the organisation when the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, which provides the overarching framework of cooperation between the ACP Group and EU bloc, reaches its end date in 2020.

This year’s summit is a crucial one, as leaders are also expected to take a decision on the final report of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) on the Future of the ACP. Led by former Nigerian president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and co-chaired by the former President of the Dominican Republic Leonel Fernandez Reyna and the former President of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo, the 12-member panel are currently reviewing the past successes and failures of the ACP Group as an organisation. The EPG will submit recommendations to the Summit on how to better position the Group to be more effective and relevant on the global stage.

The main plenary sessions for ACP Heads of State and Government will be preceded by meetings at the ministerial level, namely by the ACP Council of Ministers and ACP Ministers of Foreign Affairs from 3-5 November.

The biannual event follows the 7th Summit which was held in December 2012 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Suriname was nominated as the 2014 host country by the Caribbean region.

– ACP Press