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ACP ministerial conference condemns terrorism, urges support for climate change

Published:Tuesday | November 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Belgian prime minister Charles Michel, (second right) speaks during a media conference in Brussels. The Belgian capital Brussels was under lockdown for days, with schools and underground transport shut and more than 1,000 security personnel deployed across the country. At right is Belgium’s interior minister, Jan Jambon.


African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries began a two-day meeting here yesterday, condemning the terrorist attacks in Paris and other parts of the world, calling also on developed countries to do more to ensure there is a successful outcome of the climate change conference in the French capital later this month.

The 79-member grouping, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, also said it would continue to play a meaningful role in global affairs with the secretary general, Guyana-born Dr Patrick Gomes, saying, "we strong believe that the ambition of the Group must take into account ever evolving and turbulent global dynamics".

He said to deepen this awareness and increase the visibility of the ACP, it has participated in various international fora this year.

"While this year is significant as it marks the 40th anniversary of the ACP group, 2016 will also be an enormously important year in the history of the group. This is primarily because our leaders are expected to make definitive pronouncements regarding the future direction and structure of the group and its organs," Gomes said, as he also appealed to member countries to meet their financial contributions to the Brussels-based secretariat.

He said both the ACP and the European Union "have begun a process of consultation and reflection regarding our future relations beyond 2020".

Fiji prime Minister, J.V. Bainimarama, told the 102 nd ACP Ministerial conference that the issue of terrorism must be confronted, and that the message to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is simple, "we may flinch but we will never yield. You have united all of us from all faiths in horror but you have also united us in steely determination."