MEMBERS OF THE OACPS CELEBRATE THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE ORGANISATION
The members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) observed a town hall event on Thursday 8th April, 2021 in celebration of the first anniversary of the OACPS. The ACP Group of States officially became the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) on 5 April 2020, following the entry into force of the revised Georgetown Agreement. The theme for this year’s OACPS Day celebrations is “OACPS of the future: Transition. Solidarity. Unity.”
The virtual town hall event was chaired by The Honourable Dr Amery Browne, Minister of Foreign and CARICOM Affairs of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, with remarks from His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya and President of the 9th Summit of OACPS Heads of State and Government, and Fatumanava-o-Upolu III Dr Paolelei Luteru, Ambassador of the Independent State of Samoa and Chair of the OACPS Committee of Ambassadors.
STATEMENT BY H.E. FATUMANAVA III DR PA’OLELEI LUTERU, AMBASSADOR OF THE INDEPENDENT STATE OF SAMOA AND CHAIRMAN OF THE OACPS COMMITTEE OF AMBASSADORS, DELIVERED DURING THE VIRTUAL CELEBRATION:
Thank you Mr Chairman for the opportunity to say a few words on behalf of the Chairman of the OACPS Council of Ministers;
President Uhuru Kenyatta, President-in-Office of the OACPS Summit of Heads of State and Government;
Ladies and gentlemen
I extend greetings and sincere congratulations from the President of the OACPS Council of Ministers, the Hon. Tuilaepa Dr Sailele Malielegaoi, on the first anniversary of our Organisation. The Prime Minister regrets not being with you today, but as we speak, our people are heading to the polls to elect their next members of Parliament.
Mr Chairman, one of the core mission of any organisation during its lifetime, is to become more relevant, agile, and fit for purpose to take on the challenges of its membership and to deliver on the promises underpinning its creation. Under its revised Constitution approved in 2020, the former ACP Group of States reformed and renamed itself as the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, bringing into fruition one of the aspirations and the vision of the authors of the Georgetown Agreement.
The first anniversary of the Organisation’s journey under its new name is now being celebrated. It is an auspicious moment, and marks a year of unprecedented turmoil and challenges, brought about by the covid-19 pandemic. We all have to readjust, reset and do the best we can under trying circumstances. However, we also found new ways to accomplish and move forward as an organisation. This applies in equal measure to our Secretariat.
But 2020 also brought hope and a sense of optimism. As we look to the future, there is every reason to be optimistic. To be proud of where we are and confident in our ability to scale new heights in our relations with global partners, and in particular, the European Union. Our ambition to be an influential global player and an integral member of the international community capable of making a difference is one of our top priorities, as is the fight against climate change. The conclusion of negotiations for a new agreement to guide OACPS-EU relations for the next 25 years is, in itself, an achievement to be proud of. Yet, much work remains to be accomplished requiring the OACPS to be bold and courageous in its decision-making, and to stand together in unity and solidarity, the hallmark of our continued existence.
On behalf of the President of Council and in my capacity as chair of the Committee of Ambassadors, I extend congratulations and best wishes for continued growth, relevance, unity in purpose, and solidarity of actions for our Organisation, as we continue our collective efforts to chart a course for sustainable development and prosperity for all our communities.
Faafetai ma ia manuia. Soifua.