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Under the presidency of Jamaica, the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Council of Ministers is set to finalise the group’s post Cotonou negotiating mandate in Lomé, Togo, as the Cotonou arrangement with the European Union comes to an end in 2020.

The 107th meeting is an important milestone on the road to opening formal negotiations between the seventy-nine (79) countries from the Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific and the EU.

“The Cotonou Partnership Agreement which has been the framework for ACP-EU relations and the provision of development funding for years, provides that formal negotiations for a successor arrangement must start in August 2018, prior to its end in 2020.These meetings are therefore important in charting a sustainable development trajectory for the 79 countries of the ACP, as we seek to negotiate the most beneficial partnership agreements in the Post-Cotonou era,” says Minister Johnson Smith.

Minister Johnson Smith to Chair & Co-Chair Sessions

On February 1, 2018, Jamaica assumed the Presidency of the ACP Council of Ministers and Chairmanship of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors in Brussels. Therefore, as President in Office of the ACP Ministerial Council, Minister Johnson Smith will chair the 107thSession of the ACP Ministerial Council from May 29 to May 30 and co-chair the 43rd Session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers from May 31 to June 1, in addition to related meetings.

In keeping with a proposal made by Jamaica, which received strong endorsement from Ministers at the last Council meeting held in December
2017, a Special Session of Council was also convened on 27th May, to have dedicated discussions on post-Cotonou matters. The outcome of these deliberations further feed into the work of the 107th Council and 43rd Joint ACP-EU Council.

The Jamaican delegation is also expected to participate in the ACP Ministerial Consultation on Commodities, the ACP Ministerial Committee on Development Finance Cooperation and the ACP/EU Ministerial Committee on Development Finance Cooperation.