Tuesday, 31 May 2016

President Mugabe's New Papua Guinea Speech

Right Honourable, Mr Peter O’Neill, Prime Minister of the Independent 
State of Papua New Guinea and President of the 8th Summit of ACP Heads 
of State and Government, Your Excellencies, Heads of State and 
Government of the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, Honourable 
Ministers of the ACP Group, Distinguished Representative of the United 
Nations Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, Distinguished Representatives 
of the European Union, Heads of Regional Economic Communities, 
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends.
On behalf on my delegation, and on my own behalf, I wish to extend our 
warmest congratulations to you, Prime Minister O’Neill, on your 
assumption of the Chairmanship of the 8th Summit of the African 
Caribbean and Pacific Heads of State and Government. I wish also to 
express our heartfelt appreciation for the warm hospitality that my 
delegation and I have enjoyed since our arrival in your friendly city of 
Port Moresby.
Honourable Prime Minister, I feel greatly honoured to be amongst 
distinguished Heads of State and Government gathered here today, to 
chart a new vision and future for the African, Caribbean and Pacific 
(ACP) Group of States. In December 2012, we met in Equatorial Guinea, 
for a ground breaking discussion on the future of the ACP. Then we 
agreed that the ACP Group should be transformed so as to remain 
relevant, and continue serving our interests, deepening our solidarity, 
and enhancing South-South co-operation.
The foremost task of this Summit is to clearly redefine the Group’s core 
principles and align its objectives and, even, perhaps, arch a new 
framework altogether. The dramatic and ever evolving global realities 
and challenges, dictate that we similarly re-orient our ACP Group. 
Thus, the theme of our Summit, “Repositioning the ACP Group to Respond 
to the Challenges of Sustainable Development”, should therefore, give 
impetus to our deliberations today and the Group’s future endeavours.
Honourable Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, this year marks 41 
years since the signing of the Georgetown Agreement, by which we 
committed ourselves to a relationship with the European Union. With the 
birth of the ACP-EU partnership in 1975, came the evolution of the 
largest inter-continental body of developing countries whose vision, 
then, was to enhance the political identity of the ACP Group, to enable 
to act and speak with a united voice in all international for a, and to 
contribute towards the realization of a new, fearer, and a more 
equitable world economic order. The question that confronts us today is: 
“Have lived up to that vision as an ACP family, and what impact has the 
ACP-EU partnership had on well being?”
As we all witnessed with the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, the 
EU has embarked on a fundamental institution transformation to 
strengthen its position as a global player. Against a backdrop of 
enlargement, the EU has shifted its strategic interests to focus on its 
immediate neighbours in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean.
Naturally, the ACP has to respond to these dynamics as the Cotonou 
Partnership Agreement nears its end in 2020. We commend the initiative 
by our Ministers who established the Ambassadorial Working Group on 
Future Perspectives and the Eminent Persons Group, to intensify the 
reflections on the future of the Organisation.
We further note, with satisfaction, that the reflections have pointed to 
the fact that the new ACP needs to concentrate its resources and 
efforts, on clearly defined parameters and domains, for sustainable 
development. The new ACP should avoid duplicating activities that are 
being carried out by other regional and international organizations, 
which our countries are really part to.
We believe that, focusing on trade, investment, industrialisation, 
development co-operation, science and technology, and research and 
innovation, would help the ACP to capitalize on its numerical strength 
and geographical spread, in promoting equitable and sustainable 
development for the benefit of our people. The fight to eradicate 
poverty remains protracted, daunting and demanding that we all marshal 
our actions towards the promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals 
(SDGs) and the Agenda 2030.
Your Excellencies, The New ACP, post-2020, should buttress our regional 
integration efforts, by actively recognizing and supporting the role and 
objectives of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), in the 
furtherance of sustainable development, co-operation and dialogue. In 
pursuit of the latter, the ACP seek to adhere to the principles of 
solidarity, complementarity, and proportionality vis-à-vis the RECs, 
which are the invaluable building blocks towards sustainable 
Similarly, the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAS), which we have 
negotiated with the EU, should reinforce, not negate, regional 
integration in the ACP. Taking Cognizance that the EU has taken the 
position that it will use the EPAs as a basis for a future EU-ACP 
partnership, it therefore becomes most imperative for the ACP to ensure 
that the EPAs fully embrace the needs and interests of our countries and 
Honourable Prime Minister, We note that development finance has 
constituted a critical lifeline of the ACP-EU partnership, for over 40 
years, but has, regrettably, created a typical “donor-recipient” 
relationship, and the reviled dependency syndrome, while we have 
continued to producers and exporters of primary products. While we are 
appreciative of such provided financial support, we have continued to 
receive from our EU partners, it has increasingly become clear that 
financial self-sufficiency should be our new modus operandi, as we drive 
our efforts towards the mobilization of our resources, aimed at a more 
robust and beneficial development thrust, prioritizing our collective 
interest as developing countries.
Honourable Prime Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, This Summit should 
commit itself to gradually weaning the ACP from development aid. 
Cognizant of the reflections that have already been done by the Council 
of Ministers on the funding of the new ACP, I nevertheless believe that 
the Summit should mandate our Ministers of Finance to further reflect 
and elaborate on funding options for the new organization. Our ACP 
regions are endowed with a vast array of natural resources – flora and 
fauna, diamonds, gold, platinum, oil, marine life, land and highly 
educated citizens, yet we remain on the margins of the value chains. We 
cannot continue to be spectators while our primary commodities are 
driving an economic boom in the North and West.
Honourable Prime Minister, Comrades and Friends, The hard lesson learnt 
from the ACP-EU partnership as a North-South development model, require 
that theACP’s desire to diversify its forms of co-operation and 
partnership be pursued vigorously within the South-South framework of 
co-operation, as well as through a deeper economic interface. The 
emergence of our powerful such as Brazil, India, Russia, China and South 
Africa (BRICS) and a shift in wealth, has opened up new avenues of 
co-operation for developing countries, in particular the ACP Group of 
States. Fortunately, most, if not all, ACP States have, individually or 
as regions, collaborated with these emerging economies, thereby setting 
the basis for sound transcontinental co-operation. It is imperative for 
the ACP Group to move swiftly to interrogate itself into the global 
arena and safeguard its interests by deepening political dialogue and 
establishing other viable, strategic, and mutually beneficial 
partnerships, beyond the traditional relationship with the EU.
Honourable Prime Minister, The pre-requisite of peace and security in 
the pursuit of sustainable development, cannot be over-emphasized. I 
wish to recall the ACP’s objectives of securing common peace and 
security, for present and future generations, as espoused at the 
establishment of this Group. I am convinced that no meaningful and 
sustainable development can be achieved by our countries, our regions, 
and the ACP at large, without sustainable peace and security. We 
condemn, in the strongest sense terrorism and the untold mayhem and 
suffering it causes to our countries and people.
In conclusion, I urge our Group, with the rest of humanity, to foster a 
peaceful and secure environment, that is conducive to the realization of 
the ideals that ensure the stability, growth and development of our 
I thank you

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