The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Luwellyn Landers, will lead the South African delegation to the 109th Session of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Council of Ministers and the 44th Session of the ACP-European Union Council of Ministers, scheduled to take place from 21–24 May 2019 in Brussels, Belgium.
One of the key issues for discussion at the Ministerial meetings is the status of the post-Cotonou negotiations, given that the existing agreement between the ACP and the EU will expire on 29 February 2020. Discussions on the regional protocols (Africa-EU, Caribbean-EU and Pacific-EU) commenced earlier this year, following the December 2018 decision of the 108th Council of Ministers that the post-2020 agreement shall comprise a foundation plus three regional protocols.
African Regional Consultations were hosted by Eswatini, in its capacity as the Chair of the African Central Negotiating Group, in Ezulwini on 3 May 2019. African Ministers, supported by technical teams from the African Union, agreed on a draft framework agreement for the African Regional Protocol and negotiations with the EU are expected to commence in Brussels shortly.
In addition to the post-Cotonou negotiations, the ACP is also in the process of carving a new vision, mission and mandate, through a revision of its founding document, the Georgetown Agreement. The 109th Ministerial will consider a draft revised agreement incorporating input from Member States.
As South Africa is serving in the sub-committee on Development Finance and Intra-ACP Programming for the period 1 February 2019-31 January 2020, the South African delegation will also participate in the ACP and ACP-EU Ministerial meetings on Development Finance.
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION