Soliciting the views and perspectives of CARIFORUM stakeholders regarding the future of the African Caribbean Pacific Group beyond 2020; and agreeing on a Caribbean position on the future of the ACP Group beyond 2020, are the objectives of consultations that will conclude in Grenada on 2 November.
A release from the Ministry of Finance said that Grenada assumed the Chairmanship of CARIFORUM, in accordance with the Revised Rules of Procedure of CARIFORUM in June 2013, and is currently hosting a series of meetings which can create the new framework for cooperation among the groups when the Cotonou agreement expires.
Between Monday and Saturday Grenada is hosting the Twenty-First (21st) Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) and the CARIFORUM Stakeholders’ Consultation with the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) on the Future of the ACP Group. These meetings are being at the Grenada Grand Beach Resort.
The schedule of meetings:
(i) 28–29 October 2013 — Meeting of Senior Officials Preparatory to the Twenty-First Meeting of the Council of Ministers of CARIFORUM;
(ii) 31 October 2013 — Twenty-First Meeting of the Council of Ministers of CARIFORUM; and
(iii) 1–2 November 2013 — CARIFORUM Stakeholders’ Consultation with the ACP Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) on the Future of the ACP Group
Based on an initiative of the former Secretary-General of the ACP Secretariat, H.E. Dr. Mohmed Ibn Chambas, at the Seventh (7th) Summit of the ACP Heads of States and Government, held in Equatorial Guinea on 13-14 December 2012, mandated the creation of an Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) to examine the overall framework of ACP–EU cooperation, and more specifically to provide guidance on and concrete recommendations for the future of the ACP as an intergovernmental body.
The work of the EPG, which will have consultations in each sub-group of the ACP, is expected to culminate in a Final Report on the Future Perspectives of the ACP Group of States to be presented at the 8th Summit of ACP Heads of State and Government tentatively scheduled for December 2014, in a host country to be identified in the Caribbean.
The Eminent Persons Group (EPG) is led by former Nigeria president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and includes former Guyana president Bharat Jagdeo and the Jamaican-born Patricia Francis, the executive director of the International Trade Centre.
The EPG was set up to start looking at what sort of treaty or agreement that could be forged after the ACP–EU Cotonou Agreement comes to an end in 2020. The 12–member EPG was created to help guide the ACP Group in repositioning itself as a more robust and effective global player as it approaches the post–2015 development era. The final review of the Cotonou Agreement is also due in 2015, before its expiry in 2020.