www.chinaview.cn 2008-10-03 23:43:02
LAGOS, Oct. 3 (Xinhua)-- The sixth biennial summit of the 79-member African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states is to end on Friday in Accra, Ghana with an "Accra Declaration".
Since 1997, heads of State and government of ACP member countries have been meeting regularly to lay down the broad guidelines for the general policy of the ACP group and give the Council of Ministers instructions relating for its implementation.
According to an Accra-based the Nations newspaper on Friday, this year's summit, from a Caribbean perspective, stands to be remembered for the virtual total absence of heads of government of the Caribbean Community(CARICOM), as well as sparse attendance of foreign ministers.
The encouraging emphasis was placed on the need to engage the European Union (EU) to ensure flexibility in negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with regions of the ACP, and the related "unity and solidarity" required by ACP states.
It is reported that the president of Suriname, Runaldo Venetiaan, was the sole CARICOM head of government to have shown up for the Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 summit.
The CARICOM foreign ministers in attendance are from Haiti, St Lucia and Guyana, while Barbados' delegation is led by Donville Inniss, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and International Business. Secretary-General Edwin Carrington headed the CARICOM Secretariat's delegation.
Formed in 1975, the ACP group now comprises 48 sub-Saharan African countries, 16 Caribbean and 15 Pacific states.