CARIFORUM-EU Regional Consultations open today in Kingston

Monday, April 15, 2019

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THE CARIFORUM-EU Regional Consultations on the successor to the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement that will expire in 2020, opens today in Kingston.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, who chaired CARIFORUM Caucus and will be co-chairing the CARIFORUM-EU Consultations, said she looked forward to welcoming all visiting delegations,

“Having been an active participant in this process even before it formally started, I am truly pleased, together with my ministry team, to host nine CARIFORUM ministers, the EU and ACP chief negotiators, the secretaries general of both the ACP and CARICOM, the director general of CARIFORUM, as well as other dignitaries, right here in Kingston,” Senator Johnson Smith said.

“The meetings are important to make progress on our negotiations for a post 2020 agreement,” she added.

“The caucus took place yesterday ahead of the CARIFORUM-EU Consultation with the European Union today, where we will hold discussions on the ACP-EU Post-Cotonou Regional Protocol, with a focus on regional priorities. This is a critical phase in the negotiation process. As the public may recall, the agreement is the framework by which we will continue to benefit from EU developmental funding. It is, therefore, very important to attain our national and regional developmental goals.”

EU commissioner for international cooperation and development and chief negotiator for the EU, Neven Mimica, and chief negotiator for the ACP Group, Professor Robert Dussey, minister of foreign affairs, cooperation and African integration of the Togolese Republic and ACP chief negotiator are among those attending today's consultations.

“Both men have been great partners and advocates for positive results for all in these negotiations,” Johnson Smith, said. She, however, expressed regret that chair of CARIFORUM, St Lucia's minister, Bradley Felix, would be absent from the meeting due to urgent national business, and thanked him and CARIFORUM colleagues for the confidence vested in Jamaica's chairing of the consultations.

The ACP Group is focused on addressing its future relations with the EU when the revised Cotonou Partnership Agreement expires in 2020.

The CARIFORUM Group represents the Caribbean in the ACP, and the EU is a major trading partner of many ACP States, including Jamaica.

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