By Mahlet Mesganaw, Partner at DMLO
The FDRE Council of Ministers in its 5th session on March 19,2022, has endorsed the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) Revised Georgetown Agreement. The Council of Ministers sent the document for ratification to the House of Peoples Representative.
The Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States(OACPS)
OACPS was previously named as Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States. The Georgetown Agreement formed the ACP Group of States in 1975. OACPS is composed of in total 79 countries. 48 of them from Sub-Saharan Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific. Ethiopia is one of the members.
Revised Georgetown Agreement of the OACPS
The meeting of Heads of States in Nairobi, Kenya from 9-10th of December,2019 resolved to establish the OACPS as an international organization. The OACPS was originally formed with the purpose of formulating cooperation between its member states with the European Union(EU). Its priority was to reach a favorable agreement of development with the EU. As the years went by, the OACPS broadened its objectives. The objectives have gone beyond development cooperation with the EU to different fields of trade, economic, political, cultural integration among the OACPS countries vis-a-vis other international organs.
Objectives of OACPS
The major objectives of OACPS include:
- promote the efforts of Member States of the OACPS to eradicate poverty, achieve sustainable development, and fully benefit from the advantages of trade, through their gradual and more effective participation in the world economy;
- promote and strengthen unity and solidarity among the Member States of the OACPS as well as understanding among their peoples;
- deepen and strengthen economic, political, social, and cultural relations among the Member States of the OACPS, through regional integration, strategic partnerships between OACPS regions, and inter-regional cooperation in the fields of trade, science and technology, industry, transport and communications, education, training and research, information and communication, the environment, demography, and human resources;
- advocate for a multilateral system that is fair, equitable, and rules-based, and which contributes to economic growth and sustainable development of the Member States of the OACPS.
Member States of the OACPS
Angola – Antigua and Barbuda – Belize – Cape Verde – Comoros – Bahamas – Barbados – Benin – Botswana – Burkina Faso – Burundi – Cameroon – Central African Republic – Chad – Congo
(Brazzaville) – Congo (Kinshasa) – Cook Islands – C ôte d’Ivoire – Cuba – Djibouti – Dominica – Dominican Republic – Eritrea – Eswatini – Ethiopia – Fiji – Gabon – Gambia – Ghana – Grenada – Republic of Guinea – Guinea-Bissau – Equatorial Guinea – Guyana – Haiti – Jamaica – Kenya – Kiribati – Lesotho – Liberia – Madagascar – Malawi – Mali – Marshall Islands – Mauritania – Mauritius – Micronesia – Mozambique – Namibia – Nauru – Niger – Nigeria – Niue – Palau – Papua New Guinea – Rwanda – St. Kitts and Nevis – St. Lucia – St. Vincent and the Grenadines – Solomon Islands – Samoa – São Tomé and Príncipe – Senegal – Seychelles – Sierra Leone – Somalia – South Africa – Sudan – Suriname – Tanzania – Timor Leste – Togo – Tonga – Trinidad and Tobago – Tuvalu – Uganda – Vanuatu – Zambia – Zimbabwe.
The organs that administer the OACPS are:
a) Summit of Heads of State and Government; b) Council of Ministers; c) Sectoral Ministerial Committees; d) Committee of Ambassadors; e) OACPS Parliamentary Assembly; f) OACPS Secretariat. A Troika shall be established for the above-mentioned organs, with the exception of the OACPS Secretariat The Secretariat is responsible for the administrative management of the OACPS. It assists the Organisation’s decision-making and advisory organs in carrying out their work.The Secretariat is responsible for the administrative management of the OACPS. It assists the Organisation’s decision-making and advisory organs in carrying out their work. The headquarters of the OACPS Secretariat is located in Brussels, Belgium. It is headed by an Executive Secretary-General who is responsible for implementing the OACPS’ international policy, as well as directing and coordinating its cooperation policy.
Member States shall endeavor peacefully to resolve all disputes concerning the interpretation or application of this Agreement and other instruments set up under OACPS in a timely manner, through dialogue, consultation, and negotiation in keeping with Article 33(1) of the Charter of the United Nations. The OACPS shall maintain and establish dispute settlement mechanisms in all fields of cooperation
The Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States is determined to promote and develop greater and closer trade, economic, political, social, and cultural relations among the Member States. As a result, Ethiopia shall benefit greatly by ratifying the Revised Georgetown Agreement of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.
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