Brussels, 30 September 2015/ ACP: The President of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors has challenged members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group to do more in leveraging its partnership with the European Union, with a view to finding solutions to worrying migration trends that affect ACP states.
In her maiden speech to the Committee as Chair earlier this month, the Ambassador of Lesotho to the EU H.E Mrs. Mpeo Mahase-Moiloa told peers that for the ACP-EU partnership to be an effective vehicle for global governance, both Parties need to have an “open mindset for change.”
Underlining the migration crisis in the Mediterranean, which involves nationals of several ACP member states, she called for an expansion of the current ACP-EU talks on migration.
“I challenge the ACP Group to be more diligent in addressing the issues of migration in the framework of the ongoing ACP-EU Dialogue on Migration and Development,” she stated.
“The ACP should seek to broaden the discussion to evaluate factors leading to these migration flows aimed at finding lasting solutions as well as to give more prominence to development dimension of our cooperation.”
The ACP-EU Dialogue on Migration and Development is a mechanism launched in 2010 under the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement, following a decision by the joint council of Ministers. Priority areas of the Dialogue include visas, remittances, readmission and human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.
Ambassador Moiloa welcomed the launch of the Migration Action programme to support the recommendations of the Dialogue, implemented by the International Organisation on Migration with funding from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). She urged the Committee to monitor the implementation of the programme and to take advantage of the resources provided.
Upcoming issues
In addition to migration, Ambassador Moiloa touched on a number of significant areas which will command the attention of the ACP Group during Lesotho’s presidency.
This includes working towards a follow up partnership framework with the European Union post-2020 and shaping the ACP Group’s future orientation as an organisation; preparations for the next Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government proposed for May/June 2016 in Papua New Guinea; as well as strengthening the financial viability of the Group.
In addition, the Chair urged the establishment of closer ties with the United Nations General Assembly, and taking action on the decision by the ACP Council of Ministers to set up a forum for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) within the ACP Group.
Other matters highlighted include follow up on the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements and the signing of the Joint Undertaking on Administrative Cooperation adopted by the Ministerial Trade Committee; the implementation of the ACP-EU Private Sector Development programme in ACP countries; and better management of Intra-ACP programmes under the EDF.
– ACP Press