Brussels, 19 June 2014/ ACP: The Minister for Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Suriname, H.E Mr. Winston Lackin confirmed his government’s commitment to hosting the 8th ACP Summit for Heads of State and Government, in the capital Paramaribo on 6th and 7th November.

The 8th Summit is touted to be a decisive opportunity to review the prospects of the 79-member Afrian, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States as an institution. High level officials will also discuss key development issues related to human security, sustainable economic development and trade, amongst others.

Hundreds of participants are expected to attend the event, to be held at the Chamber of Commerce premises. It will be preceded by the 100th session of the ACP Council of Ministers on the 3rd and 4th November, and a meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on 5th November.

“The ACP is an important organisation to us. We have been in this development cooperation [with the EU] for years and it has resulted in the realization of many projects… With the uncertainty regarding the continuation of the [ACP-EU] Cotonou Agreement after 2020, we have to focus on the future orientation and structure of the ACP Group,” Mr. Lackin told fellow the ACP Council of Ministers during its 99th session in Nairobi, Kenya earlier this week.

Leaders at the summit will receive the final report of the Eminent Persons Group, led by former Nigerian Head of State, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and co-chaired by the former President of the Dominican Republic, Dr Leonel Fernandez Reyna, and of Guyana, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo. The Eminent Persons have held a series of regional consultations to gather views and formulate recommendations on the future structure and orientations of the ACP.

“The ACP Group is already very deeply engaged in this issue and I suggest that we have more discussions here in Nairobi and discussions amongst the Heads of State and Government in Paramaribo,” he said.

Mr. Lackin said a planning committee headed by Ambassador Michel Kerpens has commenced the technical, security and administrative groundwork. He thanked the ACP Member States for supporting Suriname as host country for the 8th Summit.

– ACP Press