Brussels, 25 January 2016/ ACP: The ACP Committee of Ambassadors recently welcomed its two newest members, namely H.E. Mrs. Novisi Abaidoo of Ghana and H.E. Dr. Kaire Mbuende of Namibia, who addressed their fellow African, Caribbean and Pacific envoys for the first time during a special ceremony in Brussels last Thursday 21 January.

Career diplomat Amb. Abaidoo (pictured above), previously Ghana’s ambassador in Benin, expressed her optimism about the ACP Group’s aims to reposition itself as a more effective organisation to implement the post-2015 development agenda in the global arena, as well as to strategise in the lead up to the negotiations of the post-2020 ACP-EU partnership agreement.

“Ghana is up-beat about the prospects of an even stronger and effective ACP development framework post-2020… We wish to assure all member states of our unalloyed support for the ongoing efforts to fashion out a comprehensive and cohesive position to advance the collective aspirations of our Group,” she announced at the gathering.

Amb. Abaidoo reiterated her government’s commitment to preserve and improve the democratic achievements and political stability in her country, while also underlining Ghana’s recent positive economic performances, including the recent development of the cashew sector.

Meanwhile, Namibia’s Amb. Dr Buende (pictured right), an academic and politician who formerly served as Permanent Representative of Namibia to the United Nations in New York as well as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, stressed the importance of the ACP-EU partnership as an instrument to stimulate economic growth and development through investments, market access, and transfer of technology and development aid.

He also stated that ACP countries and the global South should be integrated into the global economy on equitable and competitive basis, underlining the importance of intra-ACP cooperation in this process.

“We in Namibia believe in regional integration, that our future lies in the first instance in regional integration in SADC (Southern African Development Community), which is a building block for continental integration. We equally believe that intra-ACP cooperation can augment regional integration in Africa and other parts of the global South, and is an important leg of South-South cooperation,” he stated.

The dean of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors, H.E Roy Mickey Joy of Vanuatu welcomed the two heads of mission and reiterated the full support and solidarity of the group during their tours of duty.

The ACP Committee of Ambassadors is one of the key decision-making bodies of the ACP Group of States, reporting to the ACP Council of Ministers. Members are currently undertaking intense deliberations on the future of the ACP Group as an international body, including its future partnership with the European Union. The legally-binding ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, also known as the Cotonou Accord, which sets the parameters for cooperation between 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and the European Union, comes to a close in 2020.

Both sides are reflecting on how to shape a future relationship, given new global realities.

At the same time, the ACP Group is undergoing its own processes to reposition itself as a more dynamic and effective international alliance in the post-2015 era.

– Press ACP