Jamaica’s Foreign Minister, Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, recently participated in the 42nd Session of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) – European Union (EU) Council of Ministers in Brussels, Belgium.
Discussions centred on the future of the ACP-EU relations when the Cotonou Partnership Agreement expires in 2020.
Addressing the Joint Council, Minister Johnson Smith affirmed that, “The relationship between the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and the European Union has been a unique demonstration of North-South partnership that has served Jamaica well.”
Both the ACP and the EU agreed that the current cooperation agreement should be replaced by another legally binding agreement and aligned with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Minister Johnson Smith stressed that the renewed agreement should recognise the vulnerabilities of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) relating to climate change, resilience building and security. She reiterated Jamaica’s calls for special attention to be paid to the difficulties faced by Middle Income Countries in accessing concessionary financing to support development plans and programmes.
The Minister also underscored the importance of addressing the needs of Highly Indebted Middle Income Countries (HIMIC) such as Jamaica and other Caribbean countries that continue to face economic challenges that constrain their ability to mobilize domestic resources.
The 42nd Session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers was preceded by the 105th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers, which also took place in Brussels.