The Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, Dr. Patrick I. Gomes, has been keenly monitoring the fifth stage of the negotiations between the Government of the Republic of Mali and the Movements signatory to the Roadmap of 24 July 2014. The negotiations have been taking place in Algiers, with mediation by the international community with a view to reaching a comprehensive, sustainable peace agreement to bring a definitive resolution to the crisis in the north of Mali.

Secretary-General GOMES welcomes the draft agreement concluded on 1st March 2015 and initialled by the Government of Mali and some of the parties in the negotiations, and is calling on the parties that have not yet done so, to endorse the text that the representatives of the international community, as a whole, consider a balanced and acceptable compromise.

The ACP Secretary-General sincerely hopes that the draft agreement, due to be signed in Bamako at the end of March, will herald a new era of sustainable peace in Mali, ensuring its territorial integrity, national unity, and the balanced economic, social and cultural development of the country.

On behalf of the ACP Group, the Secretary-General wishes to thank and commend Algeria for spearheading the mediation process, as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, the United Nations, the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Chad, all members of the Mediation Team.

The Secretary-General of the ACP Group will continue to closely monitor developments in the peace and reconciliation process and looks forward to a new era of inclusive development and national unity in Mali.

2 March 2015