By Delly Waigeno – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The official opening of the 8th African Caribbean and Pacific group of States summit was held this morning in Port Moresby.
In accordance with the theme of the summit, focus was on repositioning the ACP Group to respond to the challenges of sustainable development.
President of Zimbabwe and representing the African Region, Dr Robert Mugabe, said ACP countries cannot continue to be spectators in their own land.
As Heads of State and Governments from the African Caribbean and Pacific groups arrived at the International Convention Centre, they were greeted by host Prime Minister and Chairman of the 8th Summit, Peter O’Neill.
The ACP Group is made up of 79 Member-States, all of them except Cuba, are signatories to the Cotonou Agreement which binds them to the European Union. This year marks 41 years since the signing of the George Town agreement by which they committed themselves to a relationship with the European Union.
This summit was held to chart a new vision and future for the ACP Group of States and reposition it so that it remains relevant.
President of Zimbabwe and representative of the African Group, Dr. Robert Mugabe, said the new ACP needs to concentrate its resources and efforts on sustainable development.
President Mugabe said financial self-sufficiency should be a focus for ACP.
PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, reiterated times have changed and ACP needs to refine its vision to suit today’s needs. He expressed frustration at not seeing change in ACP economic relations even though it is one of the biggest international groupings.
The meetings will prioritise outcomes that will ensure equitable and sustainable development for ACP people, peace, security and sustainability and enhancing the role of the ACP Group in Global Governance for Development.
The closing ceremony of the Summit will be held tomorrow with the consideration and adoption of the Draft Port Moresby Declaration and the Waigani Communique.