Brussels, 18 January 2018/ ACP: Envoys from two Caribbean nations, Grenada and Jamaica, were formally presented to the Committee of Ambassadors on Wednesday 17 January.

H.E. Mrs. Cheryl J. Augustine-Kanu of Grenada (left) and H.E. Mrs Sheila Sealy Monteith of Jamaica (right) – who is also the incoming Chair of the Committee of Ambassadors beginning 1 February – were warmly received by peers at the ACP House.

Ambassador Augustine-Kanu, formerly the Ambassador of Grenada in Toronto, Canada, welcomed her country’s return as part of the ACP family in Brussels, where she has been tasked with reopening the Embassy of Grenada after four years of closure. She emphasized her Government’s commitment to continued collaboration with the ACP Group, highlighting particular vulnerabilities faced by Grenada as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), as well as national priorities such as economic development, international investment and trade, infrastructure, health and the environment.

Finally, she called for a focus on shared ACP goals and assured the Group of Grenada’s firm support in preparations for negotiations on the future framework for ACP-EU relations, which are set to begin no later than August 2018.

In her address, Ambassador Monteith underlined the long-standing relations between the ACP and Jamaica – a founding member of the ACP Group. A seasoned diplomat who has previously served her country as High Commissioner to Belize, Ambassador to Mexico with accreditation to Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, and High Commissioner to Canada, she reiterated her country’s “unswerving commitment” to the objectives of the ACP Group and ACP-EU partnership, as Jamaica prepares to take on the presidency of both the Committee of Ambassadors (for the upcoming period 1 February – 31 July 2018), as well as the 107th ACP Council of Ministers and 42nd session of the ACP-EU Joint Council which are scheduled for 31 May – 1 June in Lomé, Togo.

In the lead up to the ACP-EU Post-Cotonou negotiations, Ambassador Monteith encouraged the Group to rethink the status quo of the partnership as well as current working methods, with a view to securing the best possible outcome for ACP populations.

On behalf of the Committee of Ambassadors, the Acting Dean H.E. Dr. Ousmane Sylla, the Ambassador of Guinea, warmly welcomed the new envoys to the ACP family.

The current Chair of the Committee of Ambassadors H.E. Mr. Amadou Diop of Senegal and the Secretary-General H.E. Dr. Patrick Gomes also took the floor to pledge their support to the two Ambassadors during their tenures in Brussels, while looking forward to their valuable contributions to the work of the ACP Group.

(Photos from top: Ambassador of Grenada H.E. Mrs C.J. Augustine-Kanu and Ambassador of Jamaica H.E. Mrs. Sheila Sealy Monteith; Ambassador Monteith greeted by the Chairman of the Committee of Ambassador H.E. Amadou Diop of Senegal, from whom she will be taking over as Chair for the period 1 February – 31 July 2018); Ambassador Augustine-Kanu (right) addresses the Committee of Ambassadors).

– ACP Press