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26th meeting of the regional cultural committee in Georgetown, Guyana.

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At CARICOM’s invitation, Assistant Secretary-General (ASG), Ambassador Léonard-Emile Ognimba and Culture Expert, Ms. Astrid Audibert, attended the 26th meeting of the Regional Cultural Committee, held in Georgetown, Guyana, from 25 to 26 June 2018.
The objectives of the mission were to present the results of the ACPCultures+ Programme; to provide CARICOM Heads and the Directors of Culture of the region with a progress report on the programming of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and discuss the financing prospects that have opened up with regard to the future ACP-EU culture programme; to also look at strategies, programmes and policies implemented at the regional level, as well as the financial challenges and the opportunities of the cultural sector.
Several issues and events related to ACP cultural sector were discussed such as the review of CARIFIESTA 2017 which is an important regional festival as it plays a unifying role in regional integration. The establishment of the regional strategic plan for culture was also one of the main issues debated. 
In his speech, Assistant Secretary-General Ognimba first recalled the ACP Group’s special situation as it is currently reviewing the Georgetown Agreement and negotiating to adopt a new partnership agreement with the European union. He reaffirmed the need to strengthen the feeling of solidarity among ACP countries themselves and between the Group and its Member States. Having mentioned the firm commitments made by ACP ministers of culture at the meeting, held in Brussels in November 2017, he recalled the importance of culture in building united and inclusive spaces.
The results of the mission helped to bridge the communication gap between the ACP Secretariat and the ACP Senior Officials in charge of the Caribbean region’s Cultural Affairs.
The outcome of the mission also helped to strengthen the synergies between the different programmes underway and to identify concrete avenues for partnership regarding the implementation of the future ACP-EU Culture Programme, especially with regard to promoting South-South expertise. 
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