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PRESS RELEASE: ACP-EU Ministers meet in Brussels

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ACP Press Release – 1 June 2011: The 36th Session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers ended with both parties renewed their commitment to fight against the eradication of poverty in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states. Secretary-General of the ACP Group Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas said the meeting was a success and it was an opportunity for the ACP Ministers to exchange views on pertinent issues under the Cotonou Partnership Agreement. ACP and EU ministers discussed the ongoing ACP-EU dialogue on migration in which they agreed to reach concrete results to strengthen the operational cooperation in the areas of visa, remittances and re-admission over the coming year. Speaking to the media after the meeting, ACP Secretary-General Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas said that migration is an issue for both parties given the geographical location of Europe and Africa. On trade, ACP and EU ministers exchanged views on the current state of play of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in the five regions of the ACP that are still negotiating the EPAs. So far only the Caribbean had signed a full EPA. The meeting also discussed the Millennium Development Goals Initiatives (MDGs) Mid-term reviews of the European Development Fund (EDF), regional and intra-ACP programmes and envelopes. Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas said one of the reasons the ACP remains attached to the European Development Fund is because of its predictability in providing the ACP Group with financial resources to combat poverty and poverty-related diseases in our countries and regions. Meanwhile, the ACP and EU Ministers also decided to use a flexible procedure to adopt a decision on the possible request of South Sudan to accede to the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, once it becomes a sovereign state. South Sudan is expected to declare its independence on 9 July 2011 and could then apply for membership of the agreement. END


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