International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers will today travel to Brussels, Belgium, to participate in the 108th Session of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP) Council of Ministers scheduled from 12 - 14 December 2018.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said the session is the first ACP Ministerial meeting since the commencement of negotiations with the EU.
To date, five rounds of negotiations have been held in Brussels. The ACP negotiates through a Central Negotiating Group (CNG) and three Technical Negotiating Teams (TNTs). South Africa participates in the negotiations as one of two regional representatives in the TNT on Trade, Investment, Industrialisation and Services, said Dirco.
In addition to negotiating a successor agreement to the CPA, the ACP Group is reviewing its performance over the last 40 years and reflecting on how the ACP could respond to the current global environment through a revision of its founding document, the Georgetown Agreement.
This process is aimed at reviewing the mandate, vision, mission and strategic direction of the ACP as a reformed international organisation post-2020, including its future interactions with international role-players beyond the EU.
The legal basis for relations between the ACP and the European Union (EU), the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA), will expire on 29 February 2020. The CPA makes provision for duty-free, quota-free (DFQF) trade for ACP Member States into the EU.
Landers will be supported by South Africa's Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union, Baso Sangqu. Senior Dirco officials will also accompany Landers.
Source: South African Government News Agency