Delegated by the of the Ministry of Finance and Economic cooperation of Ethiopia, Ambassador Teshome Toga led the Ethiopian delegation to the 8th Summit of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Heads of States and Governments, which was held from 31 May to 1st June 2016 in the capital of the Pacific Island Nation of Papua New Guinea, Port Mosby city.
Prior to the Summit, a joint ACP Foreign ministers and ACP Council of Ministers’ meeting was held on 30 May 2016 that primed the agenda items for the leaders of the ACP countries. The Summit was held at a crucial juncture of the ACP group as the continuity of the ACP-EU partnership after 2020 is uncertain. Hence the summit was expected to discuss and pass key decisions to help the ACP smoothly navigate towards its future before the Cotonou agreement expires and stamp out a guiding path for the group’s 79 developing countries before 2020.
One of the major deliberation agenda items was on the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) Report. The EPG was established in 2012 under the leadership of the former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, and comprising several prominent personalities from the six regions of the ACP. After the hearing of the report, the Summit directed the Council of the ACP Ministers to work on the technical aspects of the implementation of the group’s future based on the EPG report along with the report of the Future Perspective Working Group. The Summit also agreed to convene the next Summit in 2018.
During the Summit, a round table discussion was also held with the theme “Repositioning the ACP Group to Respond to the Challenges of Sustainable Development” and divided into three topics:
- Equitable and sustainable development for ACP Countries and Peoples
- Enhancing the role of the ACP Group in Global Governance for Development
- Peace, Security and Stability as essential elements for Sustainable Development
The outcome of the discussion will feed the group’s future strategic orientation with the objective of consolidating and expanding the group’s interest and visibility in the global fora. Trade, climate change, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were among the major items of debate of the Summit. The delegation of Ethiopia made important contributions during the deliberation.
In its conclusion, the Summit adopted the Declaration on the 8th Summit of ACP Heads of Stat and Government of the ACP Group of States and the Waigani Communique on the Future Perspective of the ACP Group of States in which the ACP leaders reaffirmed their commitment to make the ACP group a leading global organization.