African, Caribbean and Pacific countries celebrate 40 years of solidarity
Brussels, 13 May 2015/ ACP: The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States will mark its 40th anniversary this year with a focus on regional integration, cultural diversity and forging strategic partnerships for the future.
A stimulating two-day event, to be held at the seat of the ACP Group in Brussels on 4-5 June under the theme “From Georgetown to Sipopo and beyond”, will feature seminar debates, a photo exhibition and cultural festivities showcasing culinary specialities and musical spectacles from across the ACP regions.
Headlining the main cultural event will be award-winning Ivorian singer Dobet Gnahoré, accompanied by Pan African dance group Badenya, as well as performances from the Caribbean and Pacific Islands.
“Four decades of existence is a milestone for the ACP as an international alliance of developing countries. With the organisation currently repositioning itself for more strategic engagements with regards to its future, this is an opportunity not only to review the past, but also to project to the decades ahead, especially in terms of how to be more effective and better respond to the development needs of our member countries in the 21st century,” stated Secretary General of the ACP Group Dr. Patrick I. Gomes.
Since signing of its founding document, the Georgetown Agreement, on 6 June, 1975 in the Guyanese capital, the ACP Group has grown to now include 79 member countries, including 48 from Sub-Saharan Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific.
The intergovernmental body has established a unique sense of cohesion and solidarity, making it a powerful platform for developing countries to make joint stances on key global development issues.
A key focus of the 40th anniversary is how to enhance regional and intra-ACP relations in order to better position the ACP Group to deliver on development goals in the post-2015 era.
“One of the main areas the ACP countries are working on, is to diversify our partnerships beyond and in addition to the EU, to include other potential development partners as well as the emerging economies. In this regard, the ACP has a strong commitment to its role in South-South and Triangular cooperation,” added Dr. Gomes.
The longstanding partnership between the ACP Group and the European Union covers trade relations, development cooperation, and political dialogue. Within this framework, also known as the Cotonou Agreement, the EU contributes EUR 31.5 billion to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries channeled through bilateral, regional and intra-ACP envelopes.
The 40th anniversary celebrations will be preceded by the ACP Council of Ministers meeting and the annual ACP-EU Joint Council from 25-29 May 2015.
For more information, please contact Josephine Latu-Sanft, +32 2 7430617 or email firstname.lastname@example.org