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ACP Secretariat temporarily closed as a pre-cautionary measure against Covid-19

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STATEMENT BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL ON THE COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) AND ITS IMPACT ON THE AFRICAN, CARIBBEAN AND PACIFIC GROUP OF STATES

As the Corona virus spreads across the globe, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States are taking preventive measures to contain the disease and many are showing a strong level of preparedness to counter its spread. However, the number of cases in our countries is increasing, and more countries are affected with each passing day.

The ACP Group will do its utmost to support countries to combat the spread of the virus and bolster health systems. In collaboration with our partner, the European Union, we are supporting the efforts of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to strengthen health systems.  The course of this pandemic can still be changed by scaling up emergency preparedness or response.

As Secretary-General of the ACP Group, I would like to assure the Governments and people of ACP States of the solidarity and support of the Group in combatting the virus and its effects. In a globalised and inter-connected world, we will work closely with our partners and other Governments to put systems and practices in place to safeguard citizens and minimise the fallout of the crisis.

In line with measures taken by the Kingdom of Belgium, and after wide consultations, I have decided today to postpone all meetings and temporarily close the Secretariat of the ACP Group, which is based in Brussels, until the 3rd of April 2020. All essential services will be maintained. This extraordinary step is taken to protect staff and support our host country in its efforts to reduce the spread and impact of the virus.

 


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