FOREIGN Secretary Carl Greenidge last Friday chaired the eighth meeting of the Ministerial Central Negotiating Group (CNG) of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), which is currently in the process of re-negotiating a successor agreement to the Lomé Convention and its successor, the Cotonou Accord.
Greenidge also attended the seventh meeting of the OACPS Chief Negotiators of the Organisation and the European Union (EU), which is also working on a replacement of the Cotonou Accord.
The seventh meeting of the Chief Negotiators of the Organisation and the European Union (EU), was chaired by Togo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Robert Dussey, and focused on the current status of the negotiations; endorsing texts negotiated at the technical level; and agreement on the way forward. Other Chief Negotiators included Greenidge and the Prime Minister of Samoa, Tuilaepa Malielegaoi.
Signed in June 2000, the Cotonou Agreement was signed between the members of the OACPS, then called the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), and the members of the European Union standing as the overarching framework for EU relations with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
The Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) is a group of countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific that was created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975.
The Cotonou Agreement aims to reduce, and eventually eradicate poverty and contribute to the gradual integration of the ACP countries into the world economy, based on the pillars of development cooperation; economic and trade cooperation; and political dimension.
The Cotonou Agreement expired in March 2020, with formal negotiations for a successor arrangement launched in September 2018. Negotiations are expected to conclude in August 2020.
This Agreement provides the basis for cooperation and donor support with the EU at the bilateral and multilateral levels. The EU is the largest provider of concessional development funds and assistance to Guyana.
“The new Agreement will ensure the maintenance of the acquis of the previous ACP-EU ones while also being supported by three regional protocols, one each for Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, so that regional specificities and needs are addressed,” a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted.
The parties also agreed to the inclusion of language that would allow for current and future cooperation and support on issues such as COVID-19, in particular.
(Sourced from Guyana Chronicle 16-06-2020)
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