Brussels, 1 February 2015/ ACP: The Pacific nation of Vanuatu will hold chairmanship of the Committee of Ambassadors of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group for the period 1 February to 31 July 2015.
The Committee of Ambassadors is one of the main decision-making bodies of the ACP Group of States based in Brussels, whose 79 member countries maintain a partnership agreement with the European Union covering trade, political dialogue and development finance.
The incoming Chairman, Ambassador of Vanuatu to the European Union H.E Mr. Roy Mickey Joy said the upcoming six months of his tenure will see several important issues facing the ACP Group concerning development of its Member States.
“One of the key items on our agenda is the issue of financing for development, especially in relation to the Intra-ACP envelope of the 11th European Development Fund, which we are currently in the process of finalising with the EU, while also taking into account discussions around the post-2015 development agenda,” he stated.
Ambassador Joy added that emphasis will also be put on following up decisions of the ACP Council of Ministers from its last meeting in December 2014. This includes monitoring the implementation of the internationally backed “Samoan Pathway” on climate change in ACP activities, while also taking account outcomes of major relevant summits, such as the upcoming 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris.
The Committee of Ambassadors will also take concrete steps towards finalising discussions on a new headquarters building for the Group. They will be working with a new leadership team at the level of the ACP Secretariat, with a new Secretary General in office on 1 March, as well as four Assistant Secretaries-General.
The Committee of Ambassadors is supported by a Bureau, which coordinates and reviews issues before they reach the full committee. The Bureau is comprised of a representative of each of the six ACP regions, which, for the period 1 February to 31 July includes H.E Mr. Jagdish Koonjul of Mauritius (East Africa), H.E Mr. Sékouba Cisse of Mali (West Africa), H.E Mr. Tadeous T. Chifamba of Zimbabwe (Southern Africa), H.E. Mr.Roger Julien Menga of the Republic of Congo (Central Africa), H.E. Mr Samuel Chandler of Barbados (Caribbean) and H.E Dr Fatumanava Paó Luteru of Samoa (Pacific).
The Troika includes the presiding Chair of the Committee, along with the outgoing (H.E Dr. Ousmane Sylla of Guinea) and incoming chair (H.E. Mrs Mpeo Mahase-Moila of Lesotho).
The ACP Group is the largest association of developing countries in the world with a permanent secretariat based in Brussels. Members are signatories to a comprehensive North-South partnership agreement with the European Union known as the Cotonou Accord, whereby the two groups cooperate on issues relating to trade, development finance, and political dialogue. Under this agreement, EUR 31.5 billion has been committed under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) towards the development of ACP countries for the period 2014-2020.
(Photos from top: New Chair of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors H.E Roy Mickey Joy of Vanuatu [third from left], flanked by the incoming Secretary General and current Ambassador of Guyana H.E Dr. Patrick Gomes, and outgoing Chairman, the Ambassador of Guinea H.E Dr. Ousmane Sylla, along with members of the incoming and outgoing Bureaux and members of the ACP Secretariat management team; Ambassador Ousmane Sylla hands over chairmanship to Ambassador Roy of Vanuatu).
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