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Diplomats Urge Closer Ties with ACP Group

This call has been given voice by a senior St. Kitts and Nevis diplomat, said this is necessary in light of an “unstable” state of affairs worldwide.

Newly appointed Chair of the ACP Committee of Ambassadors in Brussels, Shirley Skerritt-Andrew, who represents the Eastern Caribbean States of the Commonwealth, was at the time speaking to the ACP delegates in Brussels.

Ambassador Skerritt-Andrew, who recently started her six month term as Chair of the Committee of Ambassadors, said that the historic ties and shared values link ACP to European Union.

“(These) are the foundation of our partnership [and] are increasingly being tested, and new strategies deployed by the EU seem to confirm this trend. The global scene does seem ominous.”

Notably, she noted a decline in foreign aid flows, concern over the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals; the Doha impasse; delays in international climate change negotiations; problematic aid effectiveness as well as the ongoing effects of the global economic crisis.

“It is at this point that I believe that it is useful to remember that old African proverb that states, ‘when the music changes, so must the dance’.”

Ambassador Skerritt-Andrew, a specialist on European affairs and a former senior advisor to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, said the introduction of the Economic Partnership Agreements with Europe had divided the ACP Group along regional lines, and the Commission’s proposal to withdraw 18 ACP countries from the list of beneficiaries of trade preferences under Regulation 1528/2007 as of 1 January 2014, could also be seen as a threat to the stability of the group.

Other St. Kitts and Nevis female ambassadors are Washington-based Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the Organisation of American States (OAS), Her Excellency Jacinth Henry-Martin; Taipei-based Ambassador to the Republic of China (Taiwan), Her Excellency Jasmine Huggins and Resident Ambassador Her Excellency Roslyn Hazelle.

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