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79 ACP States Reflect on Future Ties with EU and the World

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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

79 ACP States Reflect on Future Ties with EU and the World

The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries are determined to "undertake the reforms needed to transform the ACP Group into an effective global player, fit for the 21st century, and responsive to the emerging priorities" of member states. This emerged from the two-day gathering of the ACP Council of Ministers who concluded the 105th session on May 4 with key decisions that will influence how the bloc of 79 countries will carve out a more effective role in the international arena. According to the President of the Council, Ethiopia's Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation, Dr Abraham Tekeste, "The current occupancy of the Presidency of the UN General Assembly by Fiji, and the current membership of Senegal and Ethiopia in the UN Security Council, serve to underscore the positive contributions by ACP countries at the global levels." In his opening remarks, Peter Thomson, President of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly, said: "The unique composition of the ACP Group, with its 79 developing country Member States, positions it to play a crucial role in building the necessary partnerships to achieve the global solutions needed to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development." Thomson, Fiji's Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, who was warmly welcomed by ACP Secretary-General Dr Patrick I. Gomes, added: "ACP’s role can only become more significant as we work to progress our sustainable development objectives in a complex and rapidly-changing world." Thomson acknowledged "the long-standing commitment and dedication of ACP members to advancing global efforts to achieve a free and democratic world of peace and security, and of sustainable development." Stressing another important point, Tekeste, President of the Council, said, the Group must "do more to advance and strengthen intra-ACP cooperation, especially through South-South Cooperation, and to ensure a more balanced partnership with Europe based on shared values and mutual respect." At the same time, he emphasised the need for taking steps "to diversify our partnerships and strengthen the self-financing capacity of the Group by introducing innovative financing mechanisms."

Source: Indepthnews