Obiang Nguema Mbasogo Opens 7th ACP Summit
Equatorial Guinean President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo called for stronger South-South economic global cooperation aimed at providing guidance for strategy and policies that allow the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of nations (ACP) to play an effective role in the international arena.
Heads of State and government from the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of nations (ACP) gathered on December 13, 2012, in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, for the 7th Summit for African Caribbean and Pacific Heads of State and Government (ACP).
In his welcoming remarks, President Obiang urged the ACP Countries to strengthen their existing economic and regional groups to reach total production capacity and become emergent economies. Equatorial Guinea proposed the creation of a mechanism for South-South global economic cooperation to replace the ACP Group’s many subsets.
“The new group can strengthen the Group of 77 to redirect it toward building the political, economic and social systems of the countries of the south, and he said that the meeting in Malabo may be the birth of this organization. “Whether we form a new group or provide assistance to the current ones, we should provide guidance and political strategy that allow our groups to play an effective role in the international arena,” said President Obiang.
President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo said, “We enjoy commercial flow with the European Union thanks to our natural resources. Cooperation with developed countries should allow ACP economies to reach sustainability; this cooperation should produce beneficial effects for both.”
“Energy problems, poverty struggles and climate change call for the ACP Group to strengthen security ties and cooperation, given the similarity of our socio-economic problems, in order to face these common challenges,” said President Obiang. “We must face the challenges derived from globalization and [our] economies. So our countries must commit to change through reforms.”
He said, “Secure access to energy will allow us to develop access to other areas that our countries need.”
President Obiang said it was an honor for Equatorial Guinea and Central Africa to host the Malabo Summit, and that the Central African nations are eager to propose solutions to the challenges that ACP countries face. “Equatorial Guinea hopes this Summit addresses the strategy that expresses a new North-South cooperation.”
John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana and the 6th ACP Summit, said that President Obiang’s commitment to host the ACP Summit shows his commitment toward sustainable, economic and social development. He called Sipopo the ideal place to host summits, conferences and sporting events.
Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, ACP Group Secretary-General, praised Equatorial Guinea’s recent progress in his address to the Summit. “Within a decade Equatorial Guinea has made significant changes…because of the vision of the national leadership that will ensure that the country and its human development continue to grow toward building a free, democratic and prosperous society.”
The conference session on “The Future of the ACP Group in a Changing World: Challenges and Opportunities” dealt with economic partnership agreements (EPAs) and other trade-related issues; meeting the challenges of peace, security, stability, and good governance; the future of development finance; and the enhancement of intra-ACP cooperation.
Afternoon sessions focused on the environment, climate change, food security and rural development in ACP countries.
Today’s ACP Summit was also attended by European Union Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs; Dr. Boni Yayi, President of the Republic of Benin and the African Union; Hon. Kenny D. Anthony, Prime Minister of St. Lucia and Chairman of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM); and Hon. Henry Puna, Prime Minister of Cook Islands and Chairman of the Forum of Pacific Islands.