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Choosing a Caricom national as new ACP Secretary General

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Monday, 10 November 2014

Choosing a Caricom national as new ACP Secretary General

IF all goes well, and consistent with established norms and practices, then a Caribbean Community (Caricom) national is expected to be chosen next month as the new Secretary General of the 79-member African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states at a council meeting in Brussels a month from today.

The last time a Caricom national had the honour to serve in that capacity for this important bloc of states, which systematically monitors developments and responds to challenging regional and international economic, social and political issues, was almost a quarter-century ago.

Then, Trinidad and Tobago national Edwin Carrington was elected for a rotating five-year term (1985-1990). He subsequently became the longest-serving Secretary General of the 15-member Caricom.

This time around, the honour of being the ACP's Secretary General for the period 2015 - 2020 is widely expected to go to Guyana's Brussels-based ambassador to the European Union (EU) for the past nine years, Dr Patrick Gomes.

According to the evaluation of an 'open-ended' CARIFORUM Ministerial Committee that considered the suitability of three shortlisted candidates from an original group of six, Dr Gomes was judged to have "the best understanding of the functions of the Secretary General...". The two other Caricom nationals evaluated from the shortlist are nationals of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

The September 22 evaluation process by a ministerial group also included the Secretary General of CARIFORUM and director general of the CARIFORUM Directorate serving as facilitators. The evaluation in New York had coincided with a special session of Caricom foreign ministers, who were present for the opening session of the current United Nations General Assembly.

Source: jamaicaobserver.com