Brussels, 3 March 2016: Ambassadors of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries in Brussels will soon examine the draft report of Eminent Persons regarding the future of the ACP Group, at a special meeting on the topic slated for 21 March.

The 12-member Eminent Persons Group (EPG), chaired by the former President of Nigeria Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, was created in 2013 and charged with reviewing the ACP Group as an organisation, including its successes and failures, and to provide recommendations for reforms in the future.

During his inaugural address to the ACP Committee of Ambassadors as Chairman, H.E. Roger-Julien Menga of Congo (Brazzaville) said that the EPG report will be processed by ACP officials in Brussels, who will advise their Capitals in the lead up to the 8th Summit of Heads of State and Government in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

It is expected that the document will also influence parallel discussions on the future relations between the ACP Group and the European Union, its main development partner. With the current ACP-EU partnership agreement ending in 2020, groundwork towards negotiations for a post-2020 deal has already begun.

“While there is still a bit of time before formal consultations between our two parties begin, I would like to urge us to be proactive in bringing out the positive results that are a result of the ACP-EU relationship over the past forty years, and to develop a strategy in order to engage institutions and individuals that would be critical in the decision making about the future of the relationship, not least within individual European capitals as well as our own member states and regions,” stated Ambassador Menga.(Read the full statement in French)

The annual ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers is scheduled for 28-29 April in Dakar, Senegal, where high level side event will also be held to mark 40 years of cooperation between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The ACP-EU Joint Committee of Ambassadors recently agreed on the agenda for Council, in which the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will be the primary focus.

In the lead-up to the Joint Council, the ACP Secretariat will host a policy roundtable on ‘Enhancing inter-regional cooperation on Agenda 2030’ (30-31 March), as well as a special conference on the follow up on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change on 22 March.

“Part of this effort in defining the future of the ACP Group includes bringing the six regions of the ACP Group closer together, and in this vein, I am happy to share that the ACP Secretariat is working on a roundtable event that will be bring together Regional Economic Communities to discuss complementarity and subsidiarity with the ACP towards the achievement of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals,” stated Ambassador Menga.

The Republic of Congo holds the presidency of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors from 1 February – 31 July 2016.

See also: Déclaration Inaugurale du nouveau Président du Comité des Ambassadeurs S.E M. Roger-Julien Menga, Ambassadeur de la République du Congo (Brazaville)

– Press ACP