JIS News

As the current Chair of the CARIFORUM regional group in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, Jamaica has sought to play a pro-active role in regard to a number of issues, including the sustainable development of ACP states and their gradual integration into the global economy.
Making his contribution to the 2008/09 State of the Nation Debate in the Senate on July 18, State Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Dr. Ronald Robinson said Jamaica has also played an active role in relation to the reinforcement of unity and solidarity within the ACP Group and promotion and consolidation of peace and stability among its members.
He also noted that the country has played a leading role in the co-ordination of the activities of the ACP Group in the framework of the implementation of the ACP-EC Cotonou Partnership Agreement; and the expansion and development of greater trade, economic, political, social and cultural relations amongst member states and with European partners.
“As one of the largest international groupings of developing countries, the ACP continues to be in the unique position of providing numerical strength and critical mass, thereby forming effective alliances, especially in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), in order to advance common interests and concerns,” he informed.
He added that this has been effectively demonstrated in the WTO where, on specific occasions, the ACP has joined with like-minded countries to form the Group of Ninety (G90) and advance positions in support of trade issues of primary importance to developing countries.
Ongoing developments in the WTO Doha Round and the regionalisation of the ACP, through the negotiation of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EC (European Commission), have compelled the Group to critically assess its future role and functions, Senator Robinson said.
He pointed out that Jamaica has been fully supportive of this approach and has been participating in the discussions on the future of the ACP Group. “Most importantly, the Group has recognised that its future lies, not just in deepening its South-South linkages or in strengthening the partnership with the EU (European Union), but also in reaching out to other countries and regions and forging sustainable alliances, based on mutual respect and common understanding,” Senator Robinson added.

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