|ACP Secretary General Georges Chikoti|
New Secretary General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States sets out ambitious roadmap for his tenure
Veteran Angolan diplomat Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti took up his position as the new Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States in Brussels on 2 March 2020. In an upbeat speech to ambassadors from ACP countries and partner organisations on his first day in office, Mr Chikoti said that he had a plan for his first 100 days in office.
During a press briefing on 3 March at the Brussels Press Club, Secretary-General Chikoti unveiled his priorities as he takes the helm of the organisation comprising 48 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific that are signatories to the Georgetown Agreement of 1975, the founding ACP instrument. He told reporters that high on his agenda will be the implementation of decisions from the 9th ACP Summit held in Nairobi last December. These include the change of the name of the organisation which will be known as the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACP), the focus on multilateralism and the expansion of the ACP-European Union partnership.
The new ACP Secretary General will also have a leading role in steering on-going negotiations with the European Union to replace the Cotonou Agreement which expires this year. Mr. Chikoti expects the process to achieve a fair and balanced new agreement, through a singular negotiating framework, to be completed soon and the new accord signed by end of the year.
Climate change will be another area of interest for Secretary-General Chikoti who plans to visit island nations and those affected hurricanes such as The Bahamas, while urging strong commitment from big nations in this regard.
Mr Chikoti, who spent over 30 years in his country’s diplomatic service and was Angola’s envoy to Belgium, Luxembourg and European Union before his ACP appointment, spoke of his commitment to raising the profile of ACP. He promised to work with- and support- media, including the ACP Press Clubs Federation currently chaired by the Kigali Press Club.