Mon, Jun

The 108th Session of the Council of Ministers of the African,Carribean and Pacific Group(ACP) has ended in Brussels,Belgium with member countries reaffirming that the duration of the Post Cotonou Agreement with the European Union (EU) should be 20 years. The two parties had previously agreed to adopt a Post 2030 context where and if need be.

Meeting from December 12 to 14, 2018, the ACP Group further reaffirmed that  this new Agreement shall be a single,legally binding,long term Partnership Agreement that will embody a foundation and three Regional Protocols which together will be legally binding.Besides, emphasis was laid on the fact that the Negotiations with the EU should ensure the integrity, unity, solidarity, the fraternity of the ACP Group and that the future Agreement should facilitate intra- ACP Cooperation in a coherent and consistent manner.

Cameroon's Delegation to this 108th Session of the Council of Ministers of the ACP Group was Headed by Alamine Ousmane Mey, Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT). Other members of this Delegation included Basilekin lll Achille, Secretary General in the Ministry of External Relations and Daniel Evina Abe'e, Cameroon's Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union. The Session was chaired by Issa Doubragne, Minister of Economy and Development, Chad. 

In keeeping with the Georgetown Agreement, the Secretary General of the ACP Group,Dr. Patri ck I. Gomes, presented the report of activities which laid emphasis on the Strategic Management Plan for period 2017 - 2020. The Strategic Objective of this Plan as presented included:- enhancing  Intra-ACP Cooperation, Enhancing ACP-EU Relations, Advancing South- South Triangular Cooperation, Enhancing the Financial sustainability of the ACP Group, Reforming the ACP Secretariat and Enhancing the visibilty of the ACP Group. 

On Enhancing Relations with the EU, Dr. Patrick I. Gomes disclosed  in his report that the pre-eminent matter being addressed at moment by the Secretariat was centred on the process of Negotiating a New Partnership Agreement with the former. He said active Negotiations for a Successor Agreement for Post Cotonou Partnership were held in the offices of the Delegation of the EU to the United Nations in New York on 28/09/2018. In attendance were Hon. Prof. Robert Dussey, Togo's Minister of Foriegn Affairs, Cooperation and African Integretion, who is ACP Group's Chief Negotiator for the Post Cotonou  Successor Agreement as well as his EU counterpart, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica.

Talking about finances, the ACP Group Secretary General said that late payment and non payment of dues by member countries had continued to pose a serious problem for effective financial management.He further disclosed that as at 31/10/2018 only 53.7% of dues have been collected, pointing out that only 35 member countries have paid their contributions,while 33 others have not made a single contribution.Worse still, the outstanding unpaid arrears of contributions by some 29 ACP member countries, as revealed by Dr.Patrick I. Gomes today stands at a colossal 2,416,967.90 Euros, which is equal to 1,585,530,942 francs CFA.

On the Enhancement of the ACP Group's visibilty, the Secretary General announced that an offer was being considered in collaboration with Brussels Press Club to sponsor annual Journalism Award where Journalists of the ACP and EU will receive a prize for publishing an article on any ACP programme at National, Regional or Global levels.

Other highlights of this 108th Session of the Council of Ministers included:- Report of the ACP Ministerial Central Negotiating Group, Report of the Council of Ambassadors, Report of the Editing Committee of the Council of Ministers, Report of the review of the Georgetown Agreement, Presentation of an external audit report. The draft budget of the ACP Secretariat was also examined and adopted at 16,035,346 Euros (10,519,186,976 frs.CFA).

Georgetown Agreement, it should be recalled is the ACP Group's Fundamental Charter which was signed in 1975 at the time of the First Lomé Convention. It lays down the rules for cooperation between the countries' three continents - the main link being shared Aid from the European Union. 


The first round of Joint Technical Negotiations brought together Senior officials of the Africans Carribean, Pacific Countries (ACP) on the European Union (EU) on the other hand on 18-10-2018 in the ACP House, in Brussels, Belgium. These in abid to come out with a Post Cotonou Agreement.

The present Cotonou Agreement governing the ACP-EU relations which units more than 120 countries with a population of more than one half billion people expires in 2020. It is worth noting that the ACP-EU legal partnership is a unique Comprehensive Treaty of cooperation. Partnership between the ACP and the EU.

According to the ACP Group Chief Negotiator of the Post Cotonou Negotiations, Prof. Robert Dussey, who is also Togo's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, "The ACP-EU Partnership has deepened and widened for more than four decades." In a press briefing ahead of the opening of Negotiations, Prof. Dusssey Stated That "The Next Lome Conventions and the Cotonou Partnership Agreement-have-been major instruments in the carrier of ACP states to meet Their

Negotiations for a post Cotonou Partnership Agreement Will Be Taking Place at Rapidly Evolving age. Here the ACP States Will Be the search for a secure, modern, responsive and fit for purpose agreement that will contribute to the acceleration of the transformation of economics.
Furthermore, Prof Dussey told the Press that the Cotonou Partnership Agreement in 2020 provides a unique opportunity for the ACP Group to advocate for a partnership that will help both the ACP and the EU to redefine their approaches in dealing with the national, regional and continental issues. . . . This will be a long-term contribution to a stable and progressive international environment that will leave no one behind.
The Chief Negotiator went ahead of time to "The ACP Group has sought to achieve the objective of achieving sustainable development in all its member countries ."

The formal opening of Negotiations, it should be noted, took place in New York on 28/09/2018 on the Margins of the United Nations General Assembly.The ACP has put in place a Negotiating Structure Chaired by its Ambassadors, the Central Negotiating Group and the Technical Negotiating Team. The central Negotiating Group is chaired by Togo with Guyana and Papua New Guinea as vice chairs.
The Technical Negotiating Teams that handle the work of the strategic pillars of the ACP Mandate will be led by Trinidad and Tobago, Samoa and Zimbabwe. The European Commission and the ACP Mandate with the view of determining the status of the organization and the strategic priorities for the future agreement.

It is also important that the EU Headed by Stefano Manservisi, Director General of Cooperation for Development in the European Commission.


PRESS RELEASE, Brussels, 23 May 2018

ACP Group Set to Negotiate as One in a new Modern Post Cotonou Agreement

 The 107th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers will be held in Lome, Togo from 29th to 30th May 2018 under the Presidency of Jamaica, at a very crucial time of the ACP-EU Relations. This meeting remains an important milestone towards opening negotiations with the countries of the Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the European Union (EU). Seventy-nine countries from Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific will speak with one voice as they prepare to adopt a negotiating mandate between the ACP and the EU post -Cotonou Agreement.

Preceding this Session of the ACP Council of Ministers is a special session of ACP Council of Ministers convened on 27th May 2018 and dedicated to Post Cotonou Negotiations. Leading up to the launch of negotiations for the post-Cotonou period in 2018, there is a clear common interest in aligning future ACP-EU cooperation to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Apart from the discussions on the future of the ACP Group and its relations with the European Union, the 107th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers will address strategic matters such as repositioning the ACP group as a more effective global player in order to respond better to the needs and aspirations of its ACP Member States. Ministers will also address ways of leveraging the principles of complementarity and subsidiarity between the ACP Group and the Regional and Continental organisations, sustaining financing of the group and lastly advancing the climate change agenda in a repositioned ACP Group.

Central to the discussions in Lome is the revision of the Georgetown agreement, amendments would include:- examination of provisions such as the Preamble of the Agreement, the criteria and categories of membership in the organisation, giving close attention to the call of ACP Heads of State and Government at their Seventh Summit in 2012 for "contacts and relations with other States and groups of States" to feature prominently.

Other key items on the agenda include commodities & trade issues, sustainable economic development, and development finance.

In the margins of the 107th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers, an inter agency consultation will be held with the Continental and Regional organisations, such as the African Union Commission (AUC), CARICOM, Pacific Island Forum (PIF) on 26th May 2018. The ACP Group recognises the important and active role played by the regional and continental organisations and calls for need to preserve and built upon such collaboration in a post –Cotonou Agreement. The focus of the meeting will be to ensure the contributions of the RECS and RIOS into the ACPs Group Negotiating Framework for a post-Cotonou Agreement.

The ACP Council of Ministers is the main decision-making body of the ACP Group under the Summit of Heads of State and Government.

Cameroonian deputy, Joseph Hycianthe Owona Kono, takes off his function as newly elected Chair of the 49th ACP Parliamentary Assembly as well as co-Chair of the ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly. His mission lasted a whole week in Brussels, Belgium, from the 19th of March 2018. 


L'Assemblée parlementaire du Groupe des États d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique, réunie pour sa 49e session le 21 mars 2018 à Bruxelles (Belgique).

A. Rappelant les objectifs de l'Accord de Georgetown, notamment la consolidation et le renforcement de la solidarité et de l’unité du Groupe ACP ;

B. Considérant le préambule de l’Accord de Georgetown dans lequel les fondateurs se déclarent désireux de renforcer l’identité politique du Groupe ACP pour lui permettre d’agir et de parler d’une seule voix dans les enceintes et organisations internationales ;

C. Considérant  la Déclaration de Sipopo adoptée par le 7e Sommet des chefs d’État et de gouvernement ACP, dans laquelle ces derniers affirment sans équivoque que le Groupe ACP doit rester uni en tant qu’organisation intergouvernementale composée de 79 États membres d’Afrique sub-saharienne (48), des Caraïbes (16) et du Pacifique (15) ; 

D. Considérant également la déclaration de Port Moresby et le Communiqué de Waigani sur les perspectives d’avenir du Groupe ACP adopté par le 8e Sommet des chefs d’État et de gouvernement ACP tenu à Port Moresby (Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée) les 31 mai et 1er juin 2016 ;

E. Accueillant avec satisfaction le soutien et l’engagement de l’Union africaine, du Forum du Pacifique et du CARICOM en faveur des idéaux communs d’éradication de la pauvreté et de réalisation des objectifs de développement durable ;

F. Soucieuse de ne prendre aucune décision de nature à entraîner une fragmentation du Groupe ACP et, partant, à remettre en cause l’unité ancrée dans les valeurs du Groupe ACP ;

G. Consciente de la nécessité de définir des objectifs solides et encore plus ambitieux afin de faire face aux défis auxquels les pays ACP sont confrontés aujourd’hui, et convaincue que la capacité à relever ces défis réside dans un modèle d’unité des pays d’Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique ;  

1. Se félicite de la position historique des Chefs d’Etats et de Gouvernement en faveur du maintien d’un Groupe des Etats ACP uni en tant qu’entité indivisible, mettant à profit son importance numérique pour jouer un rôle de premier plan dans le règlement des questions relatives au développement international ; 

2. Encourage tous les États membres à réaffirmer leur attachement aux idéaux et valeurs énoncés dans le document-cadre d’orientation ACP « Vers le Groupe ACP que nous voulons », adopté par le Conseil des ministres ACP lors de sa 105e session tenue à Bruxelles les 3 et 4 mai 2017 ;

3. Appelle tous les États membres du Groupe ACP à rester unis et à entreprendre les négociations sur l’accord appelé à faire suite à l’Accord de Cotonou en tant qu’entité unique, conformément à la vision et à la mission du Groupe ACP définies lors de leurs 7e et 8e Sommets, ainsi que dans le document-cadre d’orientation ACP intitulé « Vers le Groupe ACP que nous voulons ». 


Bruxelles, le 21 mars 2018 


It was on Friday the 23rd of March 2018 at ACP House that top dipolmats sitting around the table with Secretariat General, Dr. Patrick Gomes, in a ceremony chaired by Dr. Natalie Corrrie Kordas opened a fresh new page in developments on women's rights in the three continents covered by the 79-nation group. 

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