Jamaica calls for strengthened ties, renewal within ACP group

Friday, December 09, 2016

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JAMAICA’S Foreign Minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith has called for greater cohesion among the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), in order to meet the challenges of a changing global environment.


Speaking at the 104th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers in Brussels, Belgium, last week, Minister Johnson Smith noted that the world and context within which the 40-year-old ACP was created has changed considerably, "requiring that the ACP itself undergo its own metamorphosis".


The minister urged the group to redouble its efforts to bridge the gap in political, economic, social and cultural cooperation among its 79 member countries in order to strengthen intra-ACP collaboration.


The council discussed the future of the organisation and its relationship with the European Union when the Cotonou Partnership Agreement expires in 2020. Jamaica has benefited significantly from EU development assistance over the years under this framework.


Minister Johnson Smith indicated Jamaica’s support for the negotiation of another legally binding agreement between the ACP and the EU, with a focus on sustainable development, peace, security and stability, inclusive development cooperation, and global public goods.


Following discussions with Trinidad, Barbados and the ACP Secretariat, the minister, who is high representative of CARIFORUM, also proposed a declaration on correspondent banking and de-risking. The declaration highlights the concerns of ACP countries, particularly those in the Caribbean and the Pacific, of being excluded from the international financial system.


The foreign ministry said Minister Johnson Smith is still in Brussels for her third ministerial trade meeting — the 14th Meeting of the Joint ACP-EU Ministerial Trade Committee — which is underway.






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