New York, 26 September 2015/ ACP: The Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group addressed world leaders at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit during the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, highlighting the need to move beyond rhetoric into action. The ACP Group retierated its commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, while underlining the challenges faced by the most vulnerable countries, including the Least Development Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and the Small Island Developing States. The Secretary General cited the ACP Group's plans to take action on implementing the SAMOA Pathway for SIDS, promoting South-South and Triangular Cooperation, and supporting programmes for science, technology and innovation.
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Statement by the Secretary General at the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development, 26 September 2015
It is my honour to speak on behalf of the 79 Member States of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of developing countries, composed of the 48 member States of Sub-Sahara Africa, 16 of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and 15 of the Pacific Islands Forum.
We are unique also in ecological, economic and socio-cultural diversity as the ACP Group includes 40 of the UN classified Least Developed Countries (LDCs), 37 of the 39 Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and 41 Middle Income countries (MICS).
In this geo-strategic space, the ACP Group encompasses tropical forests of the Congo and Amazonia, along with oceans, marine and mineral resources that inordinately enable the globalised world of this 21st century to breathe clean air, and ensure ocean travel for people, goods and services of all regions.
Through trade and tourism, access to minerals and commodities, our member States have fuelled the industrial advancement of both developed and developing countries.
The goals of sustainable development and an equitable share in the wealth of planet earth cannot be treated as mere documents and fine rhetoric for the peoples of the ACP Group.
The commitment to the SDGs, poverty eradication and the end of this disturbingly rapid increase of inequality, within and between nations, is not an option but an imperative for the ACP Group of States, and we align ourselves with those who address this resolutely and systematically.
Mr President,
In observation of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the ACP Group of States on 6th June 1975 by the Georgetown Agreement, the ACP has pledged to strengthen the views and voice of developing countries in the growing call for a new, inclusive and people-centred multilateralism.
Today as the ACP Group of States, through the voices of the many distinguished Presidents and Heads of government of our member States have reiterated, the goals and targets of Sustainable Development will be addressed within the strategic policy domains of the ACP by, for example, effective co-management of the European Development Fund through Intra-ACP cooperation in a comprehensive and coherent programme of action.
Mr President,
As explicitly stated in the Preamble of the outcome document, Transforming Our World, “we are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet”. The ACP Group fully endorses that resolve in our programme of action and pledges the comparative advantage and unique character of its tri-continental solidarity and experience for special attention for the most vulnerable countries, in particular African countries, the least-developed, landlocked developing countries and Small Island Developing States.
To this effect, a Road Map for concrete action to realise the SDGs will be given effect through: an ACP Forum on SIDS to assist in complementing the SAMOA Pathway (SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action); the coordination of South-South & Triangular Cooperation by the ACP as a Facilitator and Hub; by upscaling the science, technology and innovation programmes of Intra-ACP development cooperation in support of the Technology Facility Mechanism to be launched at this Summit; and promote unreservedly good governance, the rule of law, women’s empowerment and gender equality in all our 79 member States.
To these noble ideals, the ACP Group joins the international Community – in “a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity”. I thank you.
Dr. Patrick I. Gomes
ACP Secretary General