“The fact that we have reached this point is proof for the committed team that worked on the review, for the support of our Member States and for all those who have contributed to making this recommendation the reality of the 7th and 8th ACP Heads of State and Government Summits. We can now prepare to implement the provisions of the revised agreement, which will have significant implications for the ACP group and the regions. Meanwhile, ACP countries had developed their unity mechanisms. I have already referred to the Ambassadors Committee in Brussels and the meetings of ACP ministers. All this was set up by the ad hoc secretariat of the ACP group, under the direction of an executive secretary, assisted by employees permanently based in Brussels and supplemented by a continuous flow of ACP technicians working closely with it. Nothing has done more to make the AKP a disciplined and united working group at all levels than this system of collective efforts focused on concerted goals. The revised Georgetown Agreement came into force on 5 April 2020, when it obtained the necessary signatures of a third party (1/3) of the Member States. The Kingdom of Eswatini is the 39th (39th) of the 79 OACPS member states that sign the revised Georgetown Agreement. In my first statement on behalf of the Caribbean at the opening of the ACP-EEC Conference on 28 July 1973, I indicated that the negotiations that followed must be imbued and repeated here.
I said that the reference to Aristotle was a contribution from the Foreign Minister of Barbados, Cameron Tudor, a Greek scholar who had been president of the Oxford Union, and otherwise was not deeply involved in the preparatory discussions. It was a masterstroke. It has virtually ended the conflict with the demented Europeans; and the Lomé Convention did not require reciprocity. The agreement, which was to govern trade and economic relations with developing Europe for two decades and dictate the foundations of ACP-EU relations for another two years, was replaced by Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union and the various parts and sub-parts of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group. EPAs focus on “recciptity.” Ironically, it was the Caribbean countries that, in 2008, were the first to accept the new EPA exemption by individually signing the agreement with the European Union with 27 states. Opening speech by Sir Shridath Ramphal on the process of unifying the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States at the high-level inter-regional consultation in Barbados on 26 February 2019. . The Nairobi meeting allowed the governments concerned to continue to develop and refine their approach to the negotiations and laid the groundwork for the next major step forward, namely the deepening of the dialogue, which includes a political mandate for Africa as a whole, in order to negotiate a single relationship. Until these developments, the AAMS States – the French-speaking “associates” – were preparing to renegotiate the Yaounde Convention (which expires at the end of 1974), and there was a real risk that, throughout the negotiations, there would be a continuing separation – and even the potential conflict of interest – that the status of “associates” and “associates” tended to involve and develop. With these signatures, ACP states are now closer to achieving their goal of becoming the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (OACPS). The signing of the agreement by several Member States in the second week of March 2020 enabled the ACP states to reach the quota of one third of their members, which is necessary for the Convention to enter into force in 30 days.