Brussels, 10 December 2014/ ACP: Ambassador Dr. Patrick I. Gomes of Guyana has been appointed as the new Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States.

Dr. Gomes’ appointment took place today during the 100th session of the ACP Council of Ministers in Brussels, making him the tenth Secretary General since the inception of the organisation in 1975.

“I accept with great honour this appointment on behalf of Guyana, the Caribbean and the entire ACP family. I do so with much modesty and strong commitment to serve the ACP Group to the best of my ability and to tirelessly achieve the objectives of the Georgetown Agreement, and to ensure tangible benefits to the people of our member states,” he said in his acceptance speech.

“Our solidarity and unity must take more account of the dynamic changes in our regions and ensure complementarity and coherence… With a promise of strategic and focused action, let us together rejuvenate, reposition and reinvent this unique and great organisation, the ACP Group of States.”

Dr. Gomes was selected by consensus after deliberations on Tuesday 9th December by the Bureau of the Council of Ministers, made up of representatives from each of the six ACP regions. Interactive sessions were held with each of the three candidates, which also included Mrs. Patricia R. Francis of Jamaica and Dr. Hamid Ghany of Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr. Gomes is currently the Ambassador of Guyana to the European Union and the Kingdom of Belgium, as well as other Euroean countries and international organisations. He has a strong track record of leadership in the ACP system, currently serving as Dean of the ACP Ambassadors in Brussels and Chairman of the Working Group on Future Perspectives of the ACP Group, which will submit its final report on “transforming the ACP Group into a global player” to the ACP Council of Ministers tomorrow. He is also Chairman of the Board of Governors for the Maastricht-based think tank, European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM).

“The Government and people of Guyana cannot be more elated with the appointment of our compatriot Ambassador Patrick Gomes as the next Secretary General of the ACP… The ACP is at a critical juncture and experience and wise leadership coupled with patience are critical if we are going to overcome the challenges we face,” said Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett.

The new Secretary General is expected to take office from 1 March 2015 until 28 February 2020. He will hold executive powers as Head of the Brussels-based ACP Secretariat, which is the administrative and technical body of the ACP Group.

The ACP Group is the largest inter-governmental organisation of developing countries in the world, working under a partnership treaty with the European Union.

(Photo: Newly appointed ACP Secretary General Dr. Patrick I. Gomes (second from left) with current Secretary General H.E Alhaji Muhammed Mumuni, the Chair of the Council of Ministers, Hon. Mohamed Diare of Guinea, and Chairman of the Committee of Ambassadors, H.E Dr. Ousmane Sylla of Guinea).

For more information, contact Press Officer Ms. Josephine Latu-Sanft, +32 2 7430617 or