ACP: Press Release: 15 March 2011 – Acting Secretary-General Mr Achille Bassilekin III, Assistant Secretary-General for Sustainable Economic Development and Trade told the 23rd Session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Parliamentary Assembly that these are challenging times for the ACP Group as a whole – as a number of issues and developments within and outside the EU framework have caused the Group to reflect seriously on its future.

“We are nonetheless aware of the tremendous hurdles we need to overcome to place our countries on the path to sustainable development, especially at this time when Negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements, as well as those on the multilateral front, the Doha Development Agenda, have all but stalled,” Mr Bassilekin III, reading the statement on-behalf of Secretary-General Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

He also said that the ACP Group should ask itself as what impact EPAs, EU initiatives and the perceived downgrading of the preferential status of the Group by the EU will have on the ACP Group as an entity, its organizational structure, role and purpose, and invariably its future?
“As ever before, the foundations of our existence – ACP unity and solidarity – are being challenged,” he said.

The ACP Parliamentary Assembly had debated political, social and economical developments in the ACP countries.