noimageHon. Wilfred Elrington led a Belizean delegation to the 43rd session of the Joint Council of Minister of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the European Union (EU) in Lomé, Togo, consisting of Ambassador of Belize to the EU, H.E, Dylan Vernon, Director of International Affairs; Ayesha Borland and First Secretary at the Mission of Belize to the EU, Raineldo Urbina.

At the session which was held from May 30th to June 1st representatives of both the ACP and EU discussed matters of common priority such as climate change, migration, and development financing, where they also adopted a Joint Declaration on Climate Change.

The ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers was preceded by the 107th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers, held from May 28th to 29th and a Special Session of ACP Council on May 27th where delegates discussed the future direction of the ACP and the evolution of its collaboration with the EU. The ACP has been the chief panelist for Belize and Caribbean countries with the European Union through successive partnership agreements including the present Cotonou Agreement, set to expire in 2020.

At the ACP Council, Ministers discussed ACP-EU relations post 2020 and took stock of the ACP’s preparations for consultations with the EU on the post-Cotonou arrangements and adopted an ACP negotiating mandate.

During his visit Elrington participated in the ACP Ministerial Committee on Sugar on Monday May 28th where he shared the impact on Belize of lower sugar prices in the EU market following the EU sugar market reform. Elrington also updated the Council on the Belize-Guatemala process and the latest developments in relation to the holding of the referendum.

Belize, as regional coordinator of CARIFORUM in Brussels for the current period, also represented the Caribbean region at the meetings of the ACP Bureau of Ministers in Lomé.

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