BY EDWARD LAYNE
The Leader of the Opposition and former President Bharrat Jagdeo is among several internationally experienced and politically astute former Heads of State, Ambassadors, heads and members of international organisations and Heads of Government recently attended a meeting of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States’ Eminent Persons Group (EPG) in Brussels, Belgium, to finalise a report on the Future of the ACP post-2020, when the Partnership Agreement with the European Union known as Cotonou Agreement comes to an end, under the ACP’s Eminent persons.
The EPG, of which Jagdeo is a co-Vice Chair, will present the finalised report to Heads of State and Government of the ACP when they meet in the near future.
Former President Bharrat Jagdeo and other members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States’ Eminent Persons Group (EPG) following the meeting
The EPG was established by the ACP in 2013 and was tasked with assessing the ACP’s performance, with the aim of proposing a fresh vision of the ACP as a contemporary international organisation in the lead up to and beyond 2020.
The group held comprehensive consultations in the Pacific, the Caribbean, West Africa, Eastern Africa, Southern and Central Africa, as well as meetings with European Union (EU) officials, ACP Ambassadors and the staff of the ACP Secretariat. The ACP said on its website that in general, the views shared at the EPG regional consultations have been optimistic, with an overwhelming belief that the ACP Group should remain – the question is, in what form, and in which focus areas.
South-South cooperation has been a popular proposal, according to the group, especially in terms of intra-ACP cooperation, involving the exchange resources, knowledge, technology and experience between or among developing countries, with the aim of fighting poverty and promoting sustainable development.
The final report is expected to include key recommendations for revamping the ACP Group – an international organisation encompassing 79 member countries from Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific – to be more effective in delivering results to its populations.
It will also include recommendations on how to move forward after the ACP’s cornerstone partnership with the European Union, known as the Cotonou Agreement, comes to an end in 2020.
The EPG panel is chaired by former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and co-Chaired by Jagdeo and former Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez Reyna.