Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 30 May 2016/ ACP/ MFAPNG: The Joint Session of the Council of Ministers and the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States was held today as in preparation for the 8th ACP Summit of Heads of States and Government.

The Ministers agreed on the Draft Agenda and program of the Leaders’ Summit which will be held on 31st May and 1st June 2016 in Port Moresby.

The Joint Meeting was co-chaired by Hon. Rimbink Pato, OBE LLB MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration of Papua New Guinea and H.E. Ingrid Olga Ghislaine Ebouka-Babackas, Minister of Planning, Statistics and Regional Integration of the Republic of Congo and President-in-office of the ACP Council of Ministers.

The Ministers examined important agenda items including issues relating to the theme of the Summit, which is “Repositioning the ACP Group to respond to the Challenges of Sustainable Development.” Sub-themes include:

  1. Equitable and Sustainable Developing for ACP countries and peoples.
  2. Enhancing the Role of the ACP Group in Global Governance for Development.
  3. Peace, Security and Stability as Essential Elements for Sustainable Development.

The Ministers also examined the Report of the Council of Ministers, which noted key political and organisational developments, as well as the progress achieved in various Intra-ACP programmes implemented under the ACP-EU partnership, in the fields of sustainable economic development, trade, human development, and peace and security.

Ministers also discussed relevant global developments, such as the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Outcomes of the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to Summit. These landmark events speak directly to common challenges faced by ACP member states, in relation to persistent problems of inequality and poverty, and the need to craft lasting solutions for the challenges of sustainable development.

Ministers noted the various actions taken by the ACP Council, Committee of Ambassadors and Secretariat to deepen South-South and Triangular Cooperation amongst ACP countries; strengthen trade negotiation capacity, and heighten the ACP’s role in advancing climate change action. The Group further aims to enhance inter-regional cooperation for implementation of Agenda 2030 and the SDG’s.

The Ministers’ deliberations form the basis of the Summit Declaration and Communiqué, to be considered by the leaders.

The future of the ACP Group was discussed as a major issue of interest for member states. In this regards, the Eminent Persons Group, chaired by former President of Nigeria Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has been conducting extensive consultations and research on the matter. The final report of this work will be presented by Chief Obasanjo to the 8th Summit, which will provide a basis for discussions on reviewing the areas of focus for the ACP Group, improving structures and work methods of the organisation, building South-South and Triangular Cooperation, and shaping future relations between the ACP countries and the European Union.

The 8th ACP Summit will be chaired by the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Rt. Hon. Peter O’Neill.

(Photo, from left: Head of Papua New Guinea mission to the EU based in BrusselsAmb. Joshua Kalinoa, Assistant Secretary General of the ACP Group, in charge of Political Affairs and Human Development Amb. Leonard Ognimba, Chair of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors Amb. Roger Menda of Congo, Minister of Planning, Statistics and Integration of the Republic of Congo and Co-President of the Joint meeting of the ACP Council of Ministers and ACP Ministers of Foreign Affairs H.E. Ingrid Olga Ghislaine Ebouka-Babackas, and her Co-President Minister of Foreign Affairs and Papua New Guinea Hon. Rimbink Pato.)

For more information contact:

Helen Aitsi
Acting Director- Public Diplomacy & Cultural Branch
Department of Foreign Affairs
P.O Box 422, Waigani, N.C.D
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
+675 72900015

Josephine Latu-Sanft
ACP Press Office
Ave. Georges Henri 451, 1200 Brussels, Belgium
+32 2 7430617
+675 7142 6249 in Port Moresby