Tue | Jan 28, 2020

Barbados PM questions relevance of ACP

Published:Tuesday | December 10, 2019 | 12:07 AM
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley addressing the ACP Summit.
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley addressing the ACP Summit.

NAIROBI (CMC):

The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) opened a two-day summit here on Monday with Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley urging the 79-member grouping to reflect on its continued relevance in a changing global environment.

“I stand here, colleagues, [and] I ask the question: Does the ACP, at this point of our destiny, stand as a fast track to the future, or is it a relic of the past?” she said at the opening ceremony of the summit being held under the theme ‘A Transformed ACP: Committed to Multilateralism’.

ATTENDANCE

Apart from Mottley, Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness is the only other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leader attending the conference.

Mottley, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean, said that institutional arrangements are hard to change, and very often it takes “a crisis of legitimacy, a moment of illegitimacy” for this to happen.

She pointed out that the Group of Seven (G7) largest International Monetary Fund (IMF) advanced economies became the G20 “not because of a planned democratic evolution in the affairs of global governance, but rather because the global financial crisis required a global response.

“It became immediately obvious that the G7 was totally inadequate to the task,” she said, suggesting that in the 21st century, the old institutional configurations underlying the ACP-Europe Union relationship “are irrelevant to the present and to the future.

“Our rapid economic growth and the looming climate crisis demand a reorientation of the constellation of our relations. The post-Cotonou negotiations have forced the issue, and the clear evidence of everything around us of a different reality in a world driven by a climate crisis, puts this issue squarely before us. Today the relationship that must matter equally to ACP states and to our future, is that among ourselves,” she said.

The ACP is negotiating a new arrangement with the European Union, its main development partner, as the existing accord ends next year.