ACP summit rallies for solidarity in a globalized world
PALIKIR, Pohnpei (Pina Nius Online/FSM Information Service): July 22, 2002 - President Leo A. Falcam is among the more than 70 leaders and ministers converged in Fiji this week, for the 3rd Summit of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group.
The ACP group is a collection of developing nations with established historic and economic ties to the European Union (EU). The 78-nation group began its weeklong session with informal preliminary proceedings and pre-summit meetings as precursors of the Summit's official opening on July 18.
The Summit's main concentration is strengthening of trade and aid relationship between the ACP group and the EU. The ACP Secretary-General, Jean Robert Goulongana, urged the group to reconcile any difference among themselves, so that there will be solidarity among members and "ACP Solidarity in a Globalized World," as referenced by the theme of the Summit.
Fiji's Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase addressing the assembly on opening day, echoed the importance of solidarity among ACP states, he highlighted the fact that ACP is made up of countries from the developing world, whose economies have yet to become strong. The PM said, ACP's strength comes from unity, from the combined vision of the 78 nations, speaking with one voice.
Prime Minister Qarase added that the ACP group is at a turning point in history when fresh alignments are taking place in international affairs. He said, "the political maps are being redrawn and the course is set for change. This is particularly so in trade, investment and aid.
"It is our task to ensure that change improves life for both rural and urban dwellers alike in African countries. We must ensure it brings more prosperity for the ordinary people of the Caribbean, and for the Islanders of the Pacific."
In addition to the call for solidarity on the globalized world, each segment of the group raised their issues of concern in their regions. The Pacific region highlight environmental worries in the Pacific Islands.
These included global warming, the current shipment of plutonium MOX waste from Japan to Britain via the Pacific, hazardous waste dumping and nuclear and missile testing.
The 3rd ACP/EU Summit is expected to wrap up on July 19.
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