Brussels, 5 May 2014/ ACP: The future orientation and structure of the ACP Group is projected to be one of several key issues on the agenda at the upcoming 8th Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government, currently scheduled for November 2014 in Suriname.
Officials have been examining the issue for some time, with a view to reforming the organisation to serve its member countries more effectively and have more relevance in the international arena, vis-à-vis its aims for poverty eradication and the advancement of sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
At the most recent meeting of the ACP Council of Ministers in Brussels last December, the Minister of Economy and National Planning of Cameroon Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi spoke to ACP Press about the issue, stressing the importance of actively devising solutions for the development challenges faced by ACP countries.
“Since the Georgetown Agreement [which founded the ACP Group in 1975], many things have been achieved in terms of the peoples’ emancipation from poverty and working for socio-economic progress… We’ve brought water, hospitals, energy – but now we have to go further,” he stated [original response in French, see Youtube video].
He said given the plethora of new challenges facing the globe today, ACP member states need to intensify relations amongst themselves in order to truly boost intra-ACP exchange and collaboration. This will allow the Group to bring solutions to the table when addressing its main development partner – the European Union – rather than just problems, resulting in more equal-level discussions and mutually beneficial outcomes.
He added that this could “reinvent” the ACP Group, so that it is geared towards finding solutions to its own problems.
Concrete proposals from the public regarding reforms to the 79-member organisation and outlooks on its future perspectives, are currently being received by the ACP Eminent Persons Group (EPG). The EPG will present its final recommendations to the upcoming 8th ACP Summit in November.
– ACP Press