Monday, December 10, 2012

Equatorial Guinea Calls For Stronger South-South Cooperation

Malabo hosted the opening ceremony of the 7th Summit of African, Caribbean and Pacific Heads of State and Government

Equatorial Guinean Foreign Minister, Agapito Mba Mokuy, opened the 96th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers with a call for stronger South-South cooperation aimed at improving the living standards of people in developing countries.

Ministers and delegates from the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of nations (ACP) gathered on December 10, 2012, in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, for the 7th Summit for African Caribbean and Pacific Heads of State and Government (ACP).  Heads of government will meet December 13-14.

In his welcoming remarks, Minister Mba Mokuy said that the Summit will focus on the future of global opportunities and challenges within the ACP Group, which coincides with the objectives of Equatorial Guinea’s development plan, Horizon 2020, which is a “a systematic and progressive engine for our country’s politics with the outside world.”

Calling his country’s hosting of the meeting part of a foreign policy characterized by greater openness to the rest of the world, he said, “Equatorial Guinea is committed to the development of south-south cooperation.  This can in no way be a substitute for traditional north-south cooperation, but an important complement to it” and “an essential axis of solidarity among countries of the south.”

He urged ACP nations to use solidarity to benefit their people. “Economic difficulties on a global scale add to the permanent urgency of designing and putting into practice appropriate development policies and strategies,” he said.

He also called on the group to “take decisions and adopt resolutions that lead to greater development at the service of our people.” He said that ACP countries are always affected by decisions taken at the international level, and must take the lead to help their people “move out of poverty and enjoy dignified and secure employment, social protection, greater purchasing power, and access to basic daily necessities like drinking water, decent housing, electrical power, and education.”

Mba Mokuy said that developing countries deserved greater representation on the United Nations Security Council, and reminded the meeting that Africa had requested two permanent seats.

This is the first time that Equatorial Guinea has hosted the ACP Summit. Over the past two years, Malabo has hosted events such as the African Union Summit, African-South America Forum, 9th Leon H. Sullivan Summit, among others in Sipopo.