Equatorial Guinea hosted leaders from the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) to discuss strengthening the community, the future of the ACP in Central Africa (especially after 2020), promotion of trade cooperation, and partnership with European community. The meeting was held on June 2-5, 2014 in the Conference Center of Sipopo in the capital city of Malabo.
In his welcoming address, President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo laid out the new challenges facing the ACP, which require ACP leaders to properly position themselves in an international context characterized by constant changes.
“The last decade has been characterized by profound changes in the world,” said Obiang. “The ACP’s future is posed in this period of crisis. We must reflect on the future of the partnership between ACP and the European Union, an association that needs new policy changes in order to determine a partnership of equal and mutual benefit, without complexes. The question we must answer is if the context in which this organization was founded remains valid today.”
President Obiang said that the member countries of the community must work to provide a vision following 2020, the date on which the Cotonou Agreement regarding the association between ACP countries and the European Community and its member states. The Cotonou Agreement was signed in 2000.
“We must continue to strengthen the solidarity between our countries, adopting attitudes of justice and equity in order to attain a better position in the international arena, identifying ways to ensure our cooperation for basic development, in an open dialogue. Equatorial Guinea will continue to work tirelessly for equality of treatment and strengthening of the ACP group, with whom we share a common identity on the international stage,” he said.
During the meeting, ACP Secretary General, Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, said, “The ACP is not only defined by its cooperation with Europe. We are an intergovernmental organization with a coercive force of solidarity, cooperation and political dialogue among its States and that constitutes a potential at different levels.”