Brussels, 10 May 2012/ ACP/ UNDP: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group) agreed today to join forces in fostering south-south cooperation, promoting inclusive economic growth as a vehicle for sustainable development in developing countries, and providing support for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the exchange of information and views.

In a special presentation to the ACP Committee of Ambassadors today on the Rio+20 Conference which will take place in June, United Nations Under Secretary General, Chair of the UN Development Group and Administrator for the UNDP Helen Clark said: “Unless issues of sustainability and equity are addressed simultaneously, the impressive human development gains of recent decades will not be sustained. Economic, social, and environmental objectives are not competing goals to be traded off against each other, but rather are interconnected objectives which need to be pursued together. Ours must be an enduring and growing partnership to help our mutual member countries symbolized by today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the ACP and UNDP”.

Secretary General of the ACP Secretariat Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas said: “The ACP Group embodies a coalition of most of the poorest countries on earth, striving for a collective voice in the global arena, while sharing and drawing from each other’s experiences in the spirit of south-south solidarity and cooperation. We hope that through this partnership with the UNDP we can leverage on each other’s capacities in order to empower our peoples to drive sustainable development in their own countries and engage them as genuine partners in the world economic system.”

The ACP and UNDP have agreed to support regional and intra-regional integration, and contribute to the sustainable development of their mutual member countries through initiatives related but not limited to trade, private sector development, renewable energy and climate change among others.

The ACP Group consists of 79 member States, including 40 Least Developed Countries and 36 Small Island Developing States. Founded by the 1975 Georgetown Agreement, the ACP Group supports unity and solidarity among its members and promotes sustainable development and the gradual integration of the ACP States into the global economy, within the framework of the ACP-European Union Partnership Agreement.

UNDP is on the ground in 177 countries and territories, serving in many respects as the operational arm of the United Nations (UN) at the regional and country levels. UNDP works with partners to promote sustainable development through poverty eradication, prevention of and enabling recovery from crisis, promotion of democratic governance, protection of the environment and advancement of women.

(Photo: UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and ACP Secretary General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas after signing the MOU at the ACP House in Brussels)

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