Minister Maru met the ACP Secretary General, Dr. Patrick Gomes, at the margins of the ACP EU Ministerial Meeting in N'Djamena, Capital of the Republic of Chad, Central Africa, on 3 April where they discussed, among other things, Papua New Guinea's role in the current ACP-EU Post Cotonou negotiations.
Dr. Gomes expressed appreciation for the active participation of Papua New Guinea through its Ambassador in Brussels and the lead role the country is playing in the negotiations through Minister Maru and also through Prime Minister Peter O'Neill as the current Chair of the ACP Summit.
He informed Minister Maru that apart from being one of the lead negotiators in the ACP-EU negotiations, Papua New Guinea is currently in the Troika of Chair of Committee of Ambassadors where Joshua Kalinoe has been nominated by the Pacific region to be the next Chair of the Committee of Ambassadors. This means that Ambassador Kalinoe will take over as Chairman of the Committee of Ambassadors in July for a period of six months at a time when the ACP-EU negotiations will be finalised and endorsed by the Council of Ministers.
By extension, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rimbink Pato, will be the Chair of the Council of Ministers. This means Papua New Guinea will occupy three of the top policy making organs of the ACP.
Minister Maru thanked Dr. Gomes for the confidence he has in Papua New Guinea’s involvement in advancing the interests of the ACP Group and informed him of the Pacific region’s desire to ensure that the post Cotonou ACP-EU arrangements has a financing plan that is ring-fenced for the ACP regions and be an integral part of the new Agreement.
(Minister Maru presents a gift to Dr. Gomes during their bilateral Meeting in N’Djamena, Chad, Central Africa)