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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The ACP must not let the EU determine its future

On November 29, Ministers from the 79-member African, Caribbean and Pacific group of states (the ACP) will meet in Brussels. There they are expected to agree a set of principles that will determine the ACP’s approach to negotiating a successor arrangement to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. This is the treaty which ends in February 2020, which presently provides the legally binding basis for the ACP’s political, economic, trade and development relationship with Europe. Speaking to me about this recently, the ACP Secretary General, Patrick Gomes, who was formerly Guyana’s Ambassador in Brussels, makes clear that the meeting is intended to continue a process of renewal; enabling the ACP to become an influential global player in economic governance and policy development, and a body better suited to the world in which it now finds itself. Such an approach, he believes, will not only enhance the ACP’s value as a partner for the European Union, but will also enable it to become a voice for the global south at a time when international relationships are changing. The intention is, he says, to develop a much broader partnership with Europe when it comes to agreeing a new relationship with the EU. Apart from achieving a new legally binding treaty that builds on the Cotonou Agreement and all that has been achieved previously, a principal objective will be, he says, to use the recently agreed UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to provide the framework for a new ACP approach.

Source: http://www.dominicantoday.com/