The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that Guyana’s Ambassador to Belgium and the European Community, Dr. Patrick Ignatius Gomes, has been selected as the new Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States for the period 2015 to 2020.
The decision was made at the 100th Session of the Council of Ministers of the African, Pacific and Caribbean Group of States (ACP), which were held at the ACP Headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.
Ambassador Gomes will take office in March 2015 in the fortieth year of the ACP. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “it was in Guyana, 39 years ago in 1975, that the ACP was birthed through the Georgetown Accord.”
Ambassador Gomes has served as Guyana’s Ambassador to the ACP Group of States and the European Union since February 2005. He is also the Chairman of the Ambassadors’ Working Group on Future Perspectives of the ACP.
“For almost a decade, Ambassador Gomes has worked consistently within the ACP to gain beneficial terms of trade and development in the markets of the European Union for ACP’s agricultural commodities and minerals. He has also pursued improved financial support and services for joint ACP-EU institutions such as the Centre for Technical Cooperation in Agriculture and Rural Development and has been instrumental in promoting the potential for capacity development of the ACP through South-South and Triangular Cooperation”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement said.
In thanking the ACP Ministers for the confidence they have exhibited in Ambassador Gomes, Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett said “the ACP is at a critical juncture and experience and wise leadership coupled with patience are critical if we are to overcome the challenges. Ambassador Gomes possesses these attributes and together with the support of all of us, I am confident he will not only keep the Georgetown Agreement alive but will make it thrive.”
The Minister also offered best wishes to the new Secretary General of the ACP. “Warmest congratulations compatriot, the celebration will be short as you have a lot of work to do. Go now and serve the African, Caribbean and Pacific group with distinction as you have served your own country Guyana”, she said.
The Government of Guyana said it views this appointment as an honour for Guyana, the Caribbean and the ACP Group.
The ACP is composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states, with all of them, save Cuba, signatories to the Cotonou Agreement, also known as the “ACP-EC Partnership Agreement” which binds them to the European Union. There are 48 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific.
Filed 10th December 2014