The 8th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States will see Guyana participating in this important event from May 30 to June 1, in Papua, New Guinea.
Based on the Agenda, the Summit will foremost see discussions on the future of the Group and the ACP-European Union (EU) relations. Also a report by the group of imminent persons on the path ahead will be reviewed.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge in an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA) indicated that the Summit is a big occasion that will solicit the attendance of Heads of State and Government, along with a number of technical diplomatic officers.
“…it’s a fairly high-level meeting, but the main subject to which they will devote attention, apart from reports from the Secretary General, will be the future of the ACP grouping as proposed by the Heads of Imminent persons which was led by Former President of Nigeria in which the President of Guyana participated from time to time,” Minister Greenidge said.
Asked the advantage Guyana gains as a member of the grouping, Minister Greenidge explained that the group gives more leverage within the EU as it pertains to small countries having a voice in the final decisions.
“That is the main mechanism of the ACP-EU Agreement…whether there is a problem or it is just a need to know the Status of implementation on a programme, the European Union is obliged to meet with us, discuss matters at the highest of levels and that at the technical level…this does not happen in other forum” Minister Greenidge explained.
He added that one of the greatest challenges expected is what exactly will be the role of the Caribbean; where is it heading, how integrated a region will it be, and what does the Caribbean want from the ACP. This means that Guyana will have to ensure they stress the importance of the group to this country, and their intentions with regards the EU.
Guyana being one of the ACP founding members intend to lead discussions and deliver ideas for the group’s future.