Brussels, 29 January 2016/ ACP: The Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States H.E Dr. Patrick Gomes will engage a number of African leaders this weekend to apprise them of the upcoming 8th Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government to be held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, on 31 May – 1 June 2016.

As momentum picks up on preparations, the Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General in charge of Political Affairs and Human Development Amb. Léonard Ognimba are scheduled to attend the 26th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as guests on 30-31 January, where they will meet several delegations in the margins to discuss the upcoming ACP Summit.

In total, the leaders of 79 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific will be invited to attend, along with development partners and other high level participants.

“The 8th Summit will be a milestone for the ACP Group of States, following on the heels of such a momentous year for the international community in 2015, which saw the historic adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,” stated Secretary General Gomes.

“The theme of the Summit, Repositioning the ACP Group to respond to the challenges of sustainable development will allow our leaders to address the role of the ACP in supporting implementation of the 2030 development agenda within member countries and at regional and continental levels.”

Future strategic policy domains of the ACP Group will also be examined at the highest level. Following its 40th anniversary celebration of the Georgetown Agreement last year, the 79-member Group is pursuing internal reflections to transform itself to be a more effective global player in the 21st century. This includes critical assessment on its valued partnership with the European Union under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement, which comes to a close in 2020.

The ACP Eminent Persons Group, chaired by the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, will present its proposals on the future re-positioning of the ACP Group, for consideration by the Heads of State and Government. The report is a culmination of more than two years of consultations in the six regions of the ACP Member States along with hearings from stakeholders in the private sector, civil society and academic organisations and think-tanks.

“It will be a decisive Summit for the Group, in terms of how we can participate more meaningfully in the international arena, and deliver concrete results in terms of poverty eradication and promoting the sustainable development of our peoples. I would therefore like to underline the appreciation of the ACP Secretariat as well as the Group as a whole to the Government and people of the Pacific Island nation of Papua New Guinea, for offering to host this significant occasion,” said the Secretary General.

The Summit of Heads of State and Government, the highest authority of the ACP Group, was last held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea in December 2012, under the chairmanship of the President H.E. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, current President-in-Office of the Summit.

For more information please contact:

Ms. Josephine Latu-Sanft

ACP Press Office

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