Jamaica’s Foreign Minister, Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith participated in the Ministerial Meeting of the ACP Central Negotiating Group (CNG), which took place on Sunday 23rd September in New York, just ahead of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly. Under the Chairmanship of H. E. Professor Robert Dussey, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Togo, the ACP Ministers considered and approved positions to advance the Group’s Negotiating Mandate in important ways, as it prepares to begin negotiations in early October with the European Union, towards a post-Cotonou agreement.
Minister Johnson Smith presided over the ACP Council of Ministers from February to July of this year, and under her leadership, the ACP Group adopted its Negotiating Mandate in May, and the parties – the ACP Group and the EU – entered into negotiations in July, in accordance with the provisions of the Cotonou Agreement.
Johnson Smith was also pleased to attend and witness the formal launch of the negotiations between the two partners, which took place on Friday 28th September in New York, at the Mission of the European Union to the UN. “With this act, both parties are now solidly on track to begin negotiations in October. There is goodwill on both sides to ensure that the new agreement is mutually beneficial and serves the purpose of implementing the SDGs and lifting the peoples of the ACP regions out of poverty, ”said Minister Johnson Smith.
Jamaica is a core member of the Central Negotiating Group and a member of the Bureau of the Council of Ministers.