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Monday 30 May 2016 | Published in Regional


ACP leaders meeting gets underway in Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY – Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe jetted into Port Moresby this weekend to join 78 other African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) leaders for the two-day 8th ACP Heads of State meet in Port Moresby.

The “Honourable Funkmaster,” as he is known back in his country, will be the only president attending the meeting which includes four vice presidents, 13 prime ministers, one deputy prime minister, one speaker of parliament, 14 ministers and 16 ambassadors from more than 50 registered ACP countries who already have all their technical teams on the ground.

Mugabe’s advance parties, including six other African nations, were already in Port Moresby doing preparatory work for the arrival of their delegations at the weekend.

Earlier, Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, who is also Minister for International Relations and Co-operation arrived in Port Moresby via Singapore with a handful of her entourage.

The prime minister of Central African Republic, Matheu Simplice Sarandji, has also arrived in Port Moresby and many more delegates were expected over the weekend and Monday.

There are 79 ACP countries that are members, and so far about more than 50 leaders have registered to attend.

There are 51 African nations, 13 Caribbean and 15 Pacific Island nations that are part of this 8th ACP Heads of State meet.

Papua New Guinea offered to host this Leaders’ Summit for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States which was announced at the Pacific Island Forum last year.

The leaders will discuss several challenging issues facing ACP countries around the world including matters relating to economic development, and collective perspectives on dealing with climate change and pandemic disease.

The meeting officially started today and will end on Wednesday. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was to officially open the meeting which is being held at the Waigani Convention Centre in Port Moresby. - PC