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PRESS RELEASE: ACP boosts Pacific presence with new Forum status

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ACP PRESS RELEASE - 8 September, 2011: The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group) has been invited to become an Observer member of the most dominant political grouping of states in the Pacific region.

The Pacific Islands Forum brings together 16 independent and self-governing member states under shared goals of economic growth stimulation and enhancement of political governance and regional security.

ACP Secretary General H.E Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas was in Auckland, New Zealand this week to attend the 42nd Pacific Islands Leaders Forum, where he made presentations to Pacific ACP leaders and Forum Heads of Governments.

“We are absolutely thrilled at the invitation to be an Observer member of such an essential inter-governmental organization in the region. We hope that through this membership, the ACP will be able to better support our Pacific family in advancing regional integration, sustainable economic development and a stronger economic presence at a global scale,” said Dr Chambas.

Fifteen Pacific states are part of the ACP, including 14 of the 16 Forum members as well as Special Observer member Timor Leste.

Dr Chambas noted the encouraging progress made by Pacific ACP countries as reported by Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Tuiloma Neroni Slade, particularly in the formulation of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between Pacific ACP countries and the European Union (EU).   

Since beginning regional negotiations with the EU in 2004, eight Pacific ACP states to date, including the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu are in the final phase of successfully negotiating these EPA agreements.

Dr Chambas was accompanied by Assistant Secretary General and Head of the Department of Macro-Economics, Development Finance and Intra-ACP Programming Paulo Kautoke.

-ENDS-

Pictured: ACP Secretary General, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, addressing the Pacific ACP Leaders meeting. (Courtesy of Johnson Honimae, Forum Secretariat Public Affairs)

For more information. please contact Josephine Latu, Press Attaché +32-2-743-0617 or latu@acp.int


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