Brussels, 24 March 2016/ ACP: Newly appointed Ambassadors to the European Union from the Republics of Niger and Rwanda were formally presented to the Committee of Ambassadors of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States last Thursday, during which they asserted their strong commitment to achieve common objectives and the reinforcement of the ACP Group.

H.E Mr Ousmane Alhassane Abba from Niger, who began his diplomatic career in 1986, previously served as Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Niger to the United Nations in New York and more recently at the Embassy of Niger in Paris.

In his first address to the committee, Amb. Abba reconfirmed his commitment to the ACP Group’s efforts in poverty eradication, sustainable development, fair integration of all states economy in world economy, and in particular North-South and South-South cooperation. He also stressed upon a more concerted approach concerning the implementation of the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement.

Amb. Abba called on ACP support in addressing security issues in Niger stating: “Despite Niger’s improvement on the economic and social grounds, the security challenges has slowed down the country’s development pace by draining large part of budgetary resources toward actions of defence and national security because the persistence of terrorist aggressions are a serious threat for the economic survival of the sahel countries in general and Niger in particular. Therefore my government counts very much on ACP countries support and solidarity toward solving this security issue”.

The Ambassador of Rwanda, H.E Mr. Olivier Nduhungirehe, who studied both at the Université catholic de Louvain and Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, began his diplomatic career in 2007 as Chief Counsellor at the Embassy of Rwanda in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He also served as Deputy Permanent Representative of Rwanda’s mission to the United Nations in New York, during his country’s tenure as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

Amb. Nduhungirehe also called upon the urgency to face terrorism, stating that “since the November attacks in Paris, about 20 terrorists attacks have taken place in about 20 different countries including ACP States like Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Cote D’ivoire, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia and Chad. These despicable attacks are proving that the issue of terrorism is one of the greatest challenges we face in the 21st century.”

He urged ACP states to seek economic transformation through business and trade promotion, regional integrity and good governance as well as to put an end to dependency on foreign aid, ultimately transforming the ACP group into a trading force and economic player at global level.

He concluded by inviting his diplomat colleagues to the 22nd commemoration of the genocide atrocities committed in Rwanda, scheduled at the European Parliament on the 7th of April 2016 followed by commemorations ceremony at the ACP House.

(Photo: New Ambassadors of Niger and Rwanda during a welcome ceremony at the ACP House in Brussels.)

– ACP Press