Brussels, 12 September 2017/ ACP: The Ambassador of the Republic of Senegal, H.E. Mr. Amadou Diop will preside over the Committee of African, Caribbean and Pacific Ambassadors in Brussels for the period 1 August 2017 – 31 January 2018.

In a hand-over ceremony today, Ambassador Diop thanked the outgoing Chair, Ambassador Teshome Toga Chanaka of Ethiopia for his leadership during the previous six months. He welcomed the new members of the Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors, which also held its first meeting today at the ACP Secretariat headquarters.

The Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors, which coordinates the work of the full committee, is made up of one representative for each of the six ACP regions, as well as a Troika comprised of the current, incoming and outgoing Chairs. For the current term, these include: the Ambassador of Djibouti, H.E Mr. Omar Abdi Said (East Africa), Ambassador of Benin H.E Mr. Zacharie Richard Akplogan (West Africa), Ambassador of Chad H.E Mrs. Ammo Aziza Baroud (Central Africa), Ambassador of South Africa H.E. Baso Sangqu (Southern Africa), Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago H.E. Mr Colin Michael Connelly (Caribbean) and the Ambassador of Papua New Guinea H.E. Mr. Joshua Kalinoe (Pacific).

The Troika includes the Ambassadors of Senegal and Ethiopia, as well as a representative from the Caribbean region, which will be next to hold the presidency.

The Presidency of the Republic of Senegal will see several important issues facing the ACP Group, including the crucial preparation process for the negotiations of a renewed partnership with the European Union. With the current ACP-EU framework – known as the Cotonou Agreement – expiring in early 2020, negotiations for the follow-up deal are due to begin in less than a year, no later than August 2018.

Setting out the priorities for his term as Chair, Ambassador Diop highlighted the several decisive actions to be taken in defining the future of the ACP Group, including and its relations with its main partner, the EU.

He called for the “consolidation and the improvement of all the progress already achieved”, while actively working toward finalising the policy framework document for beyond 2020, entitled “Towards the ACP we want.” The revision of the Georgetown Agreement – the constitutive act of the ACP Group – is also a key priority, as is laying the groundwork for sustainable and innovative funding for the organisation and its work.

Ambassador Diop emphasised the need for efficiency in ACP working methods in order to achieve its goals.

The Committee of Ambassadors is an important decision-making body of the ACP Group of States, comprising of one representative from each of its 79 member countries. It meets at least one a month in Brussels to monitor the implementation of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, and carry out any mandate tasked to them by the ACP Council of Ministers. Much of its work is carried out through six technical sub-committees (on Political, Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs; Trade and Commodities; Investment and the Private Sector; Sustainable Development; Financing and Development; and Establishment and Finance), as well as ad-hoc working groups.

(Photos from top: New Chairman of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors H.E. Mr. Amadou Diop (third from left), takes over from Ambassador Teshome Chanaka of Ethiopa (fourth from left, shaking hands), photographed with members of the Incoming and Outgoing Bureaux, and the ACP Secretary General; Ambassador Diop (centre) addresses the Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors for the first time as Chair).

– ACP Press